After considering petitions with six different names for its new nearly $16 million elementary school, the Rockford School Board went with the most obvious, if not the most unique, choice. The new 86,000 square foot facility will be named ‘Cherry Valley Elementary School’, after the village in which it resides.
The new school which will open in the Fall will serve students who now attend Cherry Valley, White Swan and Thompson elementary schools. The old buildings will all close in June and then be demolished.
A second school will replace Kishwaukee and Nelson elementary schools in the Fall of 2019, and has yet to be named.
Alternate names submitted to the naming committee for the new Cherry Valley Elementary School were:
Constance Renick Lane, “The first black teacher hired by the Rockford School District served students of the public school system as an educator and administrator for more than three decades. She retired as assistant superintendent for elementary education in 1985.”
Jane Addams; Jane Addams Elementary School, Nobel Peace Prize winner, considered the mother of social work, Rockford University (Rockford Female Seminary) graduate, peace advocate.
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary for the famous national civil rights activist.
Leonard B. Keller Elementary, a former Cherry Valley resident, Guilford High School graduate and U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War who received the Medal of Honor.
The district’s naming committee, which was made up of principals, administrators, community members and School Board members, made their recommendations after getting community feedback and holding two public meetings.