SUMMERVILLE - Dorchester District 2 will not have new schools named Hogwarts, Mockingjay, Badly Located, Spend and Tax, Sharkeisha or Joyful Children.
It will have Sand Hill Elementary, Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary and Alston-Bailey Elementary.
On Monday, the board opted to go with the top vote-getters in naming the three new schools scheduled to open in August 2015.
Nearly 5,000 ballots were cast between Dec. 3 and Jan. 21, said district spokeswoman Pat Raynor, who compiled all of the suggestions. The board did not have to agree to the most popular choices but chose to do so.
The school at Summers Drive on the East Edisto tract will be Sand Hill Elementary in a nod to the community surrounding it.
"What better way to tie the future with the past?" said board member Sam Clark.
Although several board members said they would rather name the schools for geography or history, the other two schools were named for former district employees.
The elementary school near the Coastal Center on Miles-Jamison Road will be named for the late Dr. Eugene Sires, longtime principal of Summerville Elementary School.
"I am not a strong advocate for naming schools after people," said board member Barbara Crosby. "Because of Dr. Sires' reputation and based on the number of votes ... I would go with Gene Sires."
The biggest discussion was over the third school, adjacent to Alston Middle School. The top choice was C.S. Bailey, with 584 votes, followed by Alston Elementary, with 454.
The late Clemmie Bailey was principal of Alston when it was an elementary school. Dr. J.H. Alston founded a school in the area.
Clark and board member Fran Townsend lobbied for naming the school for former board member Carolyn A. Howard, which got 242 votes. Clark pointed out that the district has no schools named for a woman.
"If we named it Alston, we are naming it after Ms. Howard," board Chairwoman Gail Hughes said. Howard is part of the Alston family.
Board member Lisa Tupper cast the only dissenting vote, saying after the meeting that she felt that Bailey should have been honored alone.
"I just wanted to make sure we gave credit to Ms. Bailey," she said. "And I am afraid it will get shortened to Alston."
Community resident and activist Louis Smith, a member of the Alston Heritage Foundation, said residents support the combined name decision.
"What I saw tonight was a deliberate attempt to satisfy a community," he said.
A middle school of the arts, also planned for the East Edisto tract, will retain the name R.H. Rollings Middle School of the Arts, which will move from its current location.
The schools are funded by a $179 million bond referendum passed by voters in November 2012.
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