The new intermediate school being built in the DeForest Area School District finally has a name.

On Monday, April 27, the school board decided on Harvest Intermediate School. It was one of the original names submitted in February.

Superintendent Eric Runez praised the decision.

“I’m happy with it. It goes with the history of the community,” said Runez.

The vote for Harvest Intermediate School was unanimous, as the board meet by teleconferencing, due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.

The unnamed person who initially suggested the name offered this rationale: “At its most basic level, this name for the intermediate school is a nod to the DeForest/Windsor area’s rich history of farming. Additionally, the school will be built on a portion of the current FFA Land Lab where crops have been harvested by our DeForest Area High School students for years. On a deeper level, educational institutions base their foundation in cultivating knowledge. As a former teacher and librarian of this age group, I firmly believe that grades 4-6 are pivotal years for sowing the seeds of lifelong learning. During these formative years, students grow by leaps and bounds in terms of learning content and discovering the excitement of learning. For these reasons, I submit the name Harvest Intermediate School for the new DeForest/Windsor school opening in 2021. ‘We grow learners’ could serve as the school’s motto.”

During its April 27 meeting, the board narrowed its choices down to six, including Harvest Intermediate School. They included: Burr Oaks Intermediate School; Clara Bewick Colby Intermediate School; Oak Springs Intermediate School; Meadowside Intermediate School; and Norski Intermediate School.

The naming process began in November 2019, as the district invited families, staff and the community to offer their ideas for naming the school, which is expected to open in fall 2021.

Names had to align with certain criteria detailed by the district. They were supposed to represent the geographical area where the school is located. Names were supposed to translate well in other languages and be easily pronounced by students ages 9-12. They were also expected to be able to endure over time without controversy, as well as meet district educational and engagement goals.

Board Member Gail Lovick said she was surprised with how the survey results turned out, as only one of the top five the board originally voted on made the cut this time.

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