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Nolensville High is all in a name, residents say

With land purchased, site preparation approved and construction dollars to be requested this spring, the new schools to be built in Nolensville are officially named. 
Mill Creek Elementary and attached Mill Creek Middle School, as well as Nolensville High School will be the names for new schools coming to the northeastern part of the county.
However, some residents who could be zoned for the new high school are not enthused about a county school named after a city.
“It’s polarizing,” Jill Henderson, a Brentwood parent, told the board before their vote at the meeting. “I have no problem with sending my child to a school in Nolensville, but it’s a problem when a county school is named after a city.
“It’s been 32 years since a school has been named after a city.”
Henderson cited the recent names assigned to newer high schools such as Independence and Summit, whereas Brentwood dates back to 1982 and Franklin to 1910.
“Dr. Looney said that we are a county school district, not a district made of cities. It sends the wrong message,” she said.
Two board members agreed. Board members Ken Peterson, District 1, and P.J. Mezera, District 3, voted against the proposed name of the high school Monday. 
The committee, charged with presenting a list of three to five potential names for the schools was appointed by the Superintendent according to WCS board policy.  The committee included two school board members and two county commissioners, as well as district and school building administrators.  They researched possible name choices with a historical significance to the community; and considered all proposed names submitted by county residents. 
Committee member Cherie Hammond, District 6 School Board, shared that the overwhelming recurring name submitted from county residents was Nolensville High School.
From data collected from the community, the top three most reoccurring school names were chosen and included in a survey administered to all in the community who wished to participate. The top names on the ballot were York, Mill Creek and Nolensville.
Mill Creek was chosen as the name for the joint elementary and middle schools because the founders of Nolensville, the Nolen family, lost a wheel on their wagon at Mill Creek, where they decided to settle the area – a town which eventually became their namesake.
“The worst thing that you can do is ask for someone’s opinion, then not listen to it,” said Bobby Hullett, District 7, during discussions at the board meeting Monday night.
Hullett said that not honoring the community’s input would be a mistake.
Looney encouraged all to look beyond the name of the high school.
“It’s what happens inside of the school building that matters not the outside named after geographical features. I can’t think of a reason not to vote for it,” he said.
The elementary and middle schools are projected to open in 2015, while the high school is projected for 2016. Preliminary site construction is underway according to recent reports by school officials.

Posted on: 2/20/2014


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