Would Lee School Name Change Calm the Controversy?

Eastmont School District Board Commissioner recommends that the school board consider a modification of Robert E Lee Elementary to Lee Elementary.

Lee School
File Photo

It’s been a hot-button issue in the Wenatchee valley for months, should the Eastmont School Board change the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary school in East Wenatchee.

At last night’s (Monday) regularly scheduled Eastmont School Board meeting, Superintendent Garn Christensen recommended that the school board consider a modification of the school’s name to simply Lee Elementary.

Christensen says not only is the name modification a compromise between changing the name completely or not changing it at all.  He says a modification is also much more cost effective to the school district than placing it on a general election ballot next year.

The school board did not take action Monday night on the recommendation from Superintendent Christensen on the modified name change because board members Annette Eggers and Cindy Wright wanted time to consider it further and get more input from school district residents.

Newly elected board President Chris Gibbs favored the change to Lee and went even a step further, proposing that the name of Ulysses S. Grant Elementary also be changed to simply Grant Elementary. New board Vice President Steve Piccirillo maintained his position that the name not be changed in any form. The school board will once again take up the issue at their next regularly scheduled meeting on January 8th at Grant Elementary School.

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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.