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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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The choosing of our school's name


March 03, 2017




Since the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s official release of the name for the new elementary school in Lakefield on February 23, social media has been abuzz with comments regarding the choice.

In November 2016, a joint community-board Ad Hoc School Naming Committee (Naming Committee) was approved by the KPR Board of Trustees and the Ad Hoc Committee was created in December.

Notices were shared with all public audiences (school community, school council chairpersons, local media and all staff) through a wide variety of communication channels. Local media published articles advertising the opportunity to submit names, and direct invitations were shared with the Lakefield District Intermediate School, Ridpath Junior Public School and Buckhorn Public School communities, encouraging students, parents, guardians, staff and community members to participate in the naming process. The KPR social media channels were utilized as well.

One hundred and sixty-two names were submitted to the Committee. Of those 162 suggestion, approximately forty-five (45) percent contained the name of the Village (Lakefield).

From the submissions received, the thirteen members of the Ad Hoc School Naming Committee had to create a short-list to present to the Board of Trustees.

The Naming Committee was comprised of:

Jack Nigro, Superintendent (Committee Chairperson), Diane Lloyd, Area Trustee; Mary Lynch-Taylor, Trustee, Curve Lake First Nation; Shirley Patterson, Trustee; Sue Bell-Gastle, Community Representative; Julie Chatten, Parent Representative, Ridpath Junior Public School, Wilf Gray, Principal, Lakefield Intermediate School; Katie Findlay, Student Representative; Judy Malfara, Communications Officer –School Liaison;  Lori Neill, Parent Representative, Lakefield Intermediate School; Emily Potter, Student Representative; Amy Sowa, Parent Representative, Buckhorn Public School and Penny Hope, Principal, Ridpath Junior Public School (not in attendance during name selection process).

The Naming Committee met once, on February 9, 2017 (after prior preparations) for two and a half hours. Each member chose their top ten names and the short-list was created from these. The Committee then voted (through a ballot process) on their preferred name until the three top names were selected.

Community Representative, Sue Bell-Gastle said that it was evident to the Committee that the community wanted Lakefield in the name.

Before the Naming committee began deliberations on the list of potential names, a suggestion was made to create a “tag line” in the three instructional languages offered by the school. It was decided unanimously by the Committee to recommend the inclusion of the “tag line” Maawndookaazag –Together– Ensemble, stylized either above, below or near the actual name of the school, to transmit the intent of unity of all students served by the school.

This “tag line” has to be approved at the school level, by the school board (not the Board of Trustees). However, Sue Bell-Gastle said she is “confident that the it will be adopted.”

The Committee created the following short list, which was recommended to the Trustees at the Thursday (February 23) Board meeting:

1. Lakefield District Public School

2. Lakefield District Oodenawi Public School

3. Lakefield Oodenawi Public School

The Trustees unanimously voted for the Naming Committee’s number one choice; Lakefield District Public School.