EAST WENATCHEE- At their regular board meeting Monday night, the Eastmont School Board decided to add the possibility of changing the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary as an agenda item for the October 23rd school board meeting.
Eastmont School Board Spokesman and School Superintendent Garn Christensen says the issue of the name change was too important to ignore and now the process begins for a school board decision.
“The board has the authority to make a decision if they feel they’re ready to, it just depends on how their conversation goes and whether or not they decide that’s a topic they do want to consider further,” Christensen said. “The policy doesn’t stipulate a committee or anything like that. Typically a board when they’re faced with a concern such as this they can say no we’re fine we want to leave the name as is, or sometimes they’ll task the superintendent to form a committee and come back with recommendations or they’ll put on a calendar they’ll review the name at some point in the future.”
Christensen added that if they choose to review it in the future, when schools are rebuilt or modernized there will be a process that’s used to review the name and determine if that’s the name they want to continue to use or if they want to consider a change.
The name controversy is also swirling around the two candidates running for the Eastmont School Board: John Brangwin and Dave Piepel
Brangwin has already stated he supports changing the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary and Piepel recently released a statement saying the school’s name is not as important as what happens inside the school.
Christensen says he can’t predict whether the candidates position regarding the name change will determine who is elected this fall.
“Board candidates often have different opinions on various issues and that will be up to each candidate to express those,” Christensen said. “I know both have shared some thoughts on this so far– I think one has come out with an opinion but the other gentleman is waiting until the discussion further evolves.”
The two candidates in question are John Brangwin, who is in support of a name change, and Dave Piepel, who says the school’s name is not as important as what happens inside the school.
The discussion at the board’s second meeting on October 23rd is at 5:30 p.m. at the district’s maintenance facility located at 345 6th Street N.E. in East Wenatchee.