For Whom Should the Dallas Independent School District Name Its New Schools?

John Wiley Price said recently he'd like the Dallas Independent School District to rename North Dallas High School in honor of Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, among the school's most famous grads. And if that doesn't happen, well, Price has a number of other facilities from which to choose: The DISD yesterday sent out a media release-reminder that folks have till March 31 to submit recommendations for the new facilities to be built under the 2008 bond program.

This won't be easy: Judging by recent history, the district honors a wide range of folks, from former teachers and trustees to activists and administrators to war heroes and neighborhood parks. (My elementary school was named for the man who built homes on Ross Avenue; my junior high, for a longtime board member in the '20s and '30s.) And there are guidelines to be followed before the school board can champion your cause -- or before you attempt to buy your name on the side of a school, which is totally doable:

  • Persons who have attained prominence locally or nationally based on contributions to the public in recognized fields such as education, science, medicine, law, art, government, business, justice, civil rights, human rights, or military achievement;
  • Early pioneers of Dallas or the state of Texas; or presidents of the United States; or
  • Distinctive geographic locations, also
  • A facility or portion of a facility may also be named for an individual or group when a major capital donation has been made to the District for the facility by or on behalf of the nominated individual or group.
  • A facility or portion shall not be named after or in honor of any individual, unless such individual has attained 70 years of age or has been deceased at least 18 months, or such naming is a condition of a gift or grant accepted by the District.

According to the release, "There are other guidelines and procedures for naming and renaming of facilities or portions of facilities, listed in the CW Local board policy."

And, this reminder: You have to submit the nomination on this form provided by the district. And they have to contain three essential ingredients: "biographical data, the significant contribution" and "an impact statement explaining why a facility, school or portion thereof should be named after the person. The district will only accept nominations with properly filled-out forms.

Send 'em to:

Director of Board Services
3700 Ross Ave., Box 1
Dallas, TX 75204-5491

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