Like the sound of Youngsville High School? How about Caneview High or Cypress High?
Or how does Veterans Memorial High School sound?
One of those four names will be the moniker of Lafayette Parish’s new high school.
The committee charged with helping name the new school narrowed a list of 17 suggestions down to their top four choices during a meeting Monday. Their homework: Rank the remaining four names and submit them to district planning administrator Sandra Billeaudeau. In turn, Billeaudeau has homework: Bring the short list to a group of students who will offer their feedback for the committee’s consideration.
The three-story high school is planned on board-owned property in the Youngsville area on land that was used for sugarcane production. Sugarcane continues to be grown on adjacent properties. Hence, Caneview High.
A total of 17 suggestions were made, with several paying homage to former superintendents, School Board members or other noteworthy community members, or the region and its economy, such as Oil City or Sugarview High. The group quickly eliminated suggestions to name the school after a person in favor of a more inclusive name.
The goal is not to alienate anyone in the community, said Mike Kreamer, a resident of Youngsville and principal of St. Martinville Senior High in St. Martinville. He and his daughter, Michelle, who teaches at Comeaux High, are both on the committee.
“I lean against naming a whole school after a single individual,” said committee member Dan Bloomer. “Is there some reason why you can’t dedicate a gymnasium after these folks?”
Billeaudeau and other committee members agreed there may be a way to recognize those in the community for their accomplishments.
Youngsville High is one of the remaining suggestions, though the committee members discussed the wisdom of choosing that name since students from outside that city will also be enrolled in the school. Billeaudeau said the new high school will enroll students not only from Youngsville but also Broussard, Milton and the southern part of the city of Lafayette.
“It’s a huge net, and I think that we have to be representative of everyone’s viewpoints,” Billeaudeau said.
Committee member Matt Romero reminded the committee that the parish previously had a Youngsville High school, and it remains a source of pride among residents. Romero is also a member of the Youngsville City Council, which in a resolution the council adopted earlier this year asked the School Board to consider naming the school Youngsville High.
“Acadiana High was named Acadiana High because it encompassed so many areas: Scott, Judice, even some of Lafayette. All attend Acadiana High, so it is not town specific,” Billeaudeau said.
Also, several middle schools designate their locale, including Youngsville Middle, said Judy Cox, a retired Lafayette Parish schools principal and former School Board member who is on the committee.
But, many students who don’t live in Carencro, Scott or Youngsville attend schools with those names, said Rollan Moore, one of the committee members. Moore is assistant principal at Lafayette Middle School.
Superintendent Donald Aguillard told the group that work at the high school site will likely begin in March to ensure doors open to students by August 2017.
Also serving on the committee are: Courtney DiBetta, Virginia Bonvillain, Becky Dejean, Misty White, John Stoshak, board member Jeremy Hidalgo, and Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.