WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Some community members are voicing their opinion on what they think about the names for the new Wichita Falls ISD high schools.
While members on the naming committee say they thought naming the schools after a person would date the schools, community members say the school board missed a chance to bring the community together.
“I said ‘what?’. That’s what I said, ‘what,'” New Jerusalem Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Angus Thompson said.
The response from Thompson represents the reaction many Wichitans after they heard the names for the new high schools in WFISD. Memorial High and Legacy High.
“It does not elevate our statute, it doesn’t show that there is great faith and great hope in people coming together,” Thompson said.
Naming committee member Bradley Wilson says he is pleased with the new names. He also says placing a name on the schools would not give those people the recognition they deserve but these names will allow that to happen.
“We can make it what we want to make it. The administrators started talking about having a hallway dedicated to the other names of high schools in Wichita Falls. We can do something cool with that whereas if we would’ve had a named high school, we would’ve been in a box right from the beginning,” Wilson.
Thompson says if the school board and the naming committee weren’t going to name the schools after people, then they shouldn’t have asked for those submissions.
“The chance to do something big and great with a name escaped us. I don’t know how we can hold on to the past, some of the past that does not relate to people on the east side or north side,” Angus said.
Wilson says he either wanted the names chosen or Wichita Falls East and Wichita Falls West. The only confusion will be with Memorial High because of Memorial Stadium.
“I don’t see how they’re gonna get by with opening a Memorial High School and having a Memorial Stadium when you’ve also got a Legacy High School that’s gonna be playing at Memorial Stadium, it’s gonna look like favorites. That’s not a good way to start out,” Wilson said.
As the district begins the process of choosing colors and mascots, Superintendent Mike Kuhrt says they will gather feedback from the students. Something that Thompson and Wilson hope happens to the fullest.
“If they’re not serious, don’t ask the students to be involved,” Thompson said. “I hope that the schools will prosper and do well. I would imagine that City View will gain some of the students from this side of town.”
“There needs to be a lot more student involvement, but I think the superintendent was right: That needs to happen again sooner rather than later before district boundaries are drawn before students and parents start taking ownership of one high school versus the other,” Wilson said.
As community members discuss the names of the new high schools, the process to build them will be moving forward. And, it will contain lots of community input.
The district hopes to begin the process of choosing names and mascots after students are back in school.