Eastmont School Board Receives Input on Robert E Lee School Name Change


East Wenatchee, Wa- The National debate over Civil War symbols comes to the Eastmont School District.  A larger-than-usual turnout was on hand at last night’s School Board meeting to speak out about a possible name change for Robert E. Lee Elementary School. The issue was not on the regular meeting agenda but several people shared their thoughts during the open public comment period. The controversy over Confederate symbols has increased since last weekend’s violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia over that city’s Robert E Lee statue.

Greg Johnson describes himself as a 4th generation wheat rancher on Badger Mountain whose family moved there in 1890:

Sue Ellen Harris is a former history teacher in the Eastmont School District who spoke in favor of changing the name:

Harris suggested “Clyde Pangborn; Wilfred Woods; Don Moos; or Fred Rogers Elementary” as possible new names for what is now Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Gary Thresher lives in the Eastmont School District and recommended the board not be influenced by “outsiders”:

Former Chelan County Superior Court Judge Carol Wardell spoke in favor of changing the school’s name because of what the name, Robert E. Lee, represents:

Wardell suggested former Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputy Saul Gallegos’ name be used to rename the school.

Chuck Holland has had two of his three children graduate through the Eastmont School District and he’s a Wenatchee High Graduate.  He used sarcasm to make his point against changing the school’s name:

Dave Haven is the Pastor for Celebration Lutheran Church in East Wenatchee and believes the name should be changed:

Eastmont School Board President Annette Eggers thanked those in attendance for their sentiments and that each would be considered as the district moves forward. At the end of Monday’s meeting the Board agreed to put the name change issue on a future meeting agenda.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.