And then there were five, as in five potential names for the DeForest Area School District’s new intermediate school, slated to open in fall 2021.
On Monday, the school board voted on ideas submitted to the district by the public, narrowing a total of 58 possibilities down to five after some debate. This initial survey had 124 responses.
“I shied away from picking ones with DeForest or Windsor in the name,” said Board Member Brian Coker, who wondered if having the name of either community would cause some controversy.
Fellow Board Member Keri Brunelle wondered the same thing.
“There might be hard feelings down the road if DeForest is named on a building in Windsor,” said Brunelle.
School Board Vice President Steve Tenpas said gathering input from a wide range of people may help in avoiding an uproar.
“There was value in getting opinions from a lot of sources,” said Tenpas.
Coker also said he favored names of people or places with some historical or local significance, because they spark his curiosity.
“I like names after figures because they make me learn something. I like something that makes me learn about the community,” said Coker.
In the end, 15 of the suggestions received votes from board members. The top choices were: DeForest Area Intermediate School, five votes; DeForest and Windsor Area Intermediate School, four votes; Dragon Prairie Intermediate School, four votes; Norski Intermediate School, four votes; and Token Creek Intermediate School, three votes.
Students, teachers and members of the community will have a chance to have a say on the final five in a survey. It will last two weeks and close on Feb. 12. The school board has final approval of the name and is expected to make its decision at its Feb. 24 meeting. Superintendent Eric Runez emphasized that survey results are only advisory.
Roy Bernards will be the principal for the new intermediate school. He said to remember that the school serves more communities than just the villages of DeForest and Windsor.
Other names that were suggested more than once by initial survey respondents included: Lawrence Intermediate School, two; North Star Intermediate, four; Shane O’Donnell Intermediate School, three; Roy Bernards Intermediate School, two; Windsor Area Intermediate School, two; and Winnebago Prairie Intermediate School, two.
According to Coker, the Winnebago Prairie Intermediate School suggestion relates to how the area was once called the Winnebago Plains.