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Ripon delays continuation high school name selection

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POSTED May 14, 2014 1:44 a.m.

What’s in a name?

It means quite a bit, according to Rod Wright of the Ripon Unified School District Teachers Association.

At Monday’s school board meeting, he strongly supported the name ‘Harvest Academy’ in reference to the first-year continuation high school.

Trustees, upon the suggestion of Naming Committee member Connie Jorgensen, decided to hold off on the name. “We really needed more than three people (on the five-member Naming Committee) on the naming of the continuation school,” she said on her reason for requesting the hold.

Besides Harvest Academy, the group also considered River High School.

The board did vote unanimously on the name of Ripon High Track and Ripon High Stadium – as suggested by the Naming Committee – for the recently renovated sports facility. “It still doesn’t change the name of the field,” said Trustee Kit Oase, referring to Stouffer Field.

Jorgensen, who is the assistant curator at the Clarence Smit Museum, indicated that the group wanted to avoid naming the continuation program in an honor of a person.  She suggested Ernest Poletti, who taught at Ripon High from 1937 to 1961. “He brought debate (program) to Ripon,” Jorgensen said.

Kathy Coleman said considering a name of person, living or deceased, is acceptable under board policy as long as that person was local and made a positive contribution to the community.

Wright, however, noted that Harvest Academy was the name bandied about when a continuation program of RHS was being formulated about three years ago.

“It’s clear, concise and relatable,” he said. “Unlike continuation school, there’s not a negative connotation in the name.

“As for Harvest – that’s what we do in Ripon.”

Meanwhile, the Naming Committee is scheduled to reconvene in hopes of agreeing on the name for the continuation site.

“There’s not a time constraint and I really don’t have a problem with the wait,” Trustee Mike Fisher said.

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