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Governing Board Names New STEM School

Trustees were unanimous in decision to rename the former Lemon Grove Middle School.

After briefly discussing the three options recommended by an advisory committee, an enthusiastic school board voted 5-0 to name the district’s new school the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities.

Committee members Mark Gracyk and Helen Ofield presented the panel’s report to trustees Tuesday night at the Community Center.

“We took time to consider every single name that came through—and there were quite a few of them,” Gracyk said. “Nothing was ignored.”

Two of the committee’s three recommendations included “STEM Academy” to reflect the language of Proposition W, the $28 million school bond measure passed by voters in 2008 to create the school and build a new county library on the campus at the former Lemon Grove Middle School site.

In making the recommendations, Gracyk said the group was trying to “bring together the past, something excellent for the present, and look toward the future.”

Concern was raised over whether locking the school’s name to its science, technology, engineering and math curriculum might be limiting. Board members found favor with the option to include humanities in the school's name, recalling the district’s history of excellence in the area.

The citizen’s panel is the second advisory committee to assist the district with a big decision recently. A parent-based committee presented its recommendations on school closure and realignment at the Jan. 24 meeting where the governing board approved shuttering Palm Middle School.

“This is a fantastic example of how we asked the community to come together with decisions that impact the community—so thank you,” board member Larry Loschen said.

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