School name choices narrowed to three

April 17, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Suggestions included "Your Mom Elementary School" and "That Thar Elementry Schoule," but names celebrating the history of the area where a new elementary school will be built made the cut.

A naming committee selected three suggestions Monday that will be forward to the Washington County Board of Education to be considered for the new school in the Westfields community. The names are Rockland Woods, Antietam Valley and Chapel Woods.

In March, the committee selected five options, including Rockland Woods and Chapel Woods. Antietam Valley was a suggestion from a committee member's brother-in-law that was not discussed until Monday.

The board could vote at its May 1 business meeting and choose one of the three suggested names.

Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the name Westfields Elementary School was eliminated as a choice because not all students at the school would be residents of the development. The school, to be built off of Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown, will have capacity for about 750 students. The school's groundbreaking was scheduled for this morning.


Rockland Woods Elementary school was selected as a possible name to honor Frisby Tilghman, who built the Rockland estate near the school site. It also includes part of the name of a one-room school called "Chapel Woods," built in the Westfields development area in 1891 - the inspiration for the name "Chapel Woods."

The most popular name in surveys and polls completed was Antietam Creek Elementary School, a choice that did not make it to the committee's top three. About 300 people completed surveys through Washington County Public Schools, and the committee also examined results from a Herald-Mail poll. The top choice among the 240 respondents to that poll was Antietam Creek Elementary School.

A committee member said there were 23 write-in recommendations that the school be named Rosemary J. Burtner Elementary School, after an area woman and retired teacher who died about two weeks ago.

Other names considered that did not make it to the top three included Rockland Elementary School and James W. C. Pennington Elementary School, which honored a slave who lived on the Rockland estate.

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