L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education members debated Monday night a proposed policy revision, altering how district facilities are named.
During the board meeting at Harry L. Wheeler Community Center and Administrative Offices, members approved first drafts of revisions to three board policies, including one that sets guidelines for naming district buildings and creating a district naming committee.
Superintendent Jacqueline Johnston said administrators have consolidated three similar policies and have added a committee structure for naming district facilities.
Criteria for building dedications
The recommended revision suggests that a district facility may be named after an individual only if that person has not been a district employee for at least one year.
“If we look at the policy presented to the board at this point, it wouldn’t have been possible to name the building across the street for DiAnne Pellerin,” Board President Kenneth Hoover said, referring to the DiAnne M. Pellerin Center, which was named after the former superintendent.
But Trustee Donald Hubler said he thinks a one-year separation from the district is a reasonable amount of time and should be considered by the board.
“I feel very strongly that current employees have a job to do, and we’re all in this together,” Hubler said. “There’s nobody in this room that deserves any additional recognition for their effort, except for in hindsight.”
In response to the criticism over naming a building after a current employee, Hoover argued that most of those who were employees at the time a district facility was named after them were “working near the end of their career and those things that were happening were because of their great contributions to this district.”
Additionally, the proposed policy revision states that the district naming committee should be appointed by the superintendent of schools. It should be composed of representatives from the superintendent’s office, curriculum and business departments, human resources, building administration, nonadministrative employees and the community, Board Vice President Linda McLatcher said during the discussion, noting the absence of representation for the Board of Education.
Board to revisit naming policy
Trustee David Fowler said the revised process would be more thorough than in the past.
“Because the board has the ability to approve or not approve whatever the recommendation is that comes out of the committee, having a board member on the committee – versus today, when we have three board members who are on the committee – probably wouldn’t make any sense," Fowler said.
“I personally feel that naming a facility after a person is a very huge thing to consider,” Hubler said. “I feel strongly that it should not be a current member of our staff.”
Hoover suggested further board discussion at a later date for a solution.
“I think right now the board has a lot more freedom to do what is right and I don’t think it’s been abused,” Hoover added. “I’d just like you to think about the things I just mentioned, so that when we do come up with a resolution, we don’t handicap future boards because the 58 boards behind us were not handicapped, and I think they did well.
"I’m proud of the names on our L’Anse Creuse schools."
The additional proposed school board policy revisions:
- Administrators have added two items to the board members’ conflict of interest, ethics and responsibilities policy, Johnston said.
- A revision to the board’s gifts and requests policy states that board members must approve gifts given to the district worth $1,000 or more.
The proposed revisions to these policies will return to the board for further action.