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Lifelong Learning

April 17, 2003 Meeting Notes

School Naming Task Force
Moorhead Area Public Schools
7:30 p.m. April 17, 2003

Members Present:

Matt Naugle,
Sandee Rasmussen,
Roger Erickson,
Jeff Offutt,
Carol Ladwig,
Brad Holschuh,
Lauri Winterfeldt-Shanks,
Lyn Dwyer,
Maggie Rousseau,
Bryce Haugen,
Mark Meister,
Jeanne Aske.

Members Absent:

Steve Scheel and Denise Paulson.

District Representatives:

Dr. Larry P. Nybladh, Superintendent, and Pam Gibb, Communications Coordinator.

Call to Order

Haugen called the meeting to order.


Task force members reviewed the minutes. Hearing no additions or corrections the minutes stand as written.



Report on Eleanor Rushfeldt

Roger Erickson shared the information provided to him by Mark Peihl from the Clay County Historical Society. Rushfeldt, who lived in Hawley, was the first woman elected to a Clay County office. She defeated a male incumbent for Superintendent of County Schools serving from 1911-1915. She was reelected, but she resigned to get married and raise a family. She studied food and nutrition and later was a social worker. She died in 1982 at age 97. Erickson told the task force that Mark Peihl didn't feel she was strong candidate to have a school named for her.

The task force discussed possible names including Ada Comstock and Diane Meyer. Meyer served on the school board and as a county commissioner (first and only woman). Some felt her death was too recent to recognize her by naming a school after her.

Consensus Decision Making Process

Middle School

The task force members were given dictionary definitions, synonyms, and information from the online encyclopedia about each of the four name options being considered for the middle school, Horizon, Explore, Aurora and Freedom. Members reviewed this information.

To begin the discussion, the task force members were asked to have one or two people each advocate for one of the names, Aurora, Explore, Freedom and Horizon. Then one or two people were asked to be a negative advocate for each name. Following this, the task force members paired up to complete the consensus building exercise. Each pair then worked with another pair. The three groups all presented their name and rationale to the larger group. The groups choose Explore (or a variation), Horizon and Aurora.

The group then moved to a voting process. Results were Aurora (7 yes, 2 no, 3 maybe), Explore (3 yes, 6 no, 3 maybe), Freedom (12 no), Horizon (9 yes, 3 maybe). The task force eliminated Freedom as an option. The task force repeated the voting process to eliminate Explore. Following a tied vote between Horizon and Aurora, there was further discussion of the two choices. Horizon was selected as the name of the middle school.

District Education Center

The task force discussed feedback related to leaving the name Probstfield on the building or moving it to a different elementary school. There was discussion of the educational benefit to students to move the name to an elementary school versus leaving the name on the district education center and avoiding the confusion of moving it to a different facility.

The task force decided to reuse the name. It was decided that Probstfield should remain as the name of the district education center. The task force then brainstormed options for the rest of the name to describe the center. Options were narrowed to Probstfield Learning Center, Probstfield Lifelong Learning Center and Probstfield Center for Education. Probstfield Center for Education was selected as the name. The task force also determined that "Center" should be spelled "Center" and not "Centre."

Elementary Schools

Task force members listed possible names of local individuals that could be names for elementary schools. They were Ada Comstock, Nellie Hopkins, James Sharp, S.G. Reinertsen, Loren Douglas Hagen and Diane Meyer. After discussion and a voting process, Loren Douglas Hagen, Ada Comstock and Diane Meyer were eliminated as options. The task force decided that the renovated elementary school in the current Robert Asp facility should be named Robert Asp Elementary School. There was discussion of whether to include first names of the people.

Through a voting process, the task force eliminated James Sharp (2), retaining Ellen (Nellie) Hopkins (12) and S.G. Reinertsen (10). After discussion, it was decided that the current Junior High facility be named Ellen Hopkins Elementary School and the new elementary school be named S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School.

Recommendation Report

A draft of the report will be prepared for the task force members to review April 24. The task force will be presenting the report to the School Board on May 12. It was discussed that if the School Board has any concerns with the recommendations, the board could ask the task force to reconvene to address those concerns.