Lee Elementary renaming committee taking suggestions

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COLUMBIA - Suggestions for the new name for Lee Elementary are now being accepted.

The expressive arts school located in downtown Columbia allows students to connect art and the rest of their curriculum.

The school is named after the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Parents and members of the community voiced their concerns about the name in August of 2017, and Lee's School Board voted to begin the name changing process later that month. 

The renaming committee is made up of eleven people who all have some connection to either the school or the community.

Angela Speck is a Lee Elementary parent who is serving on the renaming committee and has been connected to Lee Elementary for almost nine years.

Speck was one of the people who spoke at the school board meeting when the original request was made for the change.

"I'm someone who at least tries to be an ally and so I feel that this is something that I can do something for the local community and for the school and maybe do something good along the way," Speck said.

A former Lee Elementary student on the committee believes it's important that the new name represents the mission of the school.

"It's really important to me that we recommend a good name for the Board of Education that reflects well on the community and the school," Jordan Wright said.

Committee members believe the school district did a good job in putting together a diverse committee. Speck believes that diversity will be beneficial when it comes to narrowing down the names.

"It's going to be fairly straightforward as we get to see all the names. I think we're actually going to be able to settle on, at least a short list, very quickly," Speck said. 

All of the submissions will be judged on an 100 point scale.

    1. Meets the mission of the school - 45 points
    2. Easily identifiable with the school - 25 points
    3. Historical significance - 15 points
    4. Geographical relevance - 10 points
    5. Contributions to Columbia and/or Columbia Public Schools - 5 points
    The link to submit a recommendation is on the Columbia Public School website and will be live until March 31.  The committee will present the top choices to the school board at the meeting in May.