Committee: Keep Searcy name at PHS

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By Nicole Jones

For Pearland ISD, a lot of thought and work goes into a name.

A 15-member naming committee recently solicited feedback, researched and discussed questions such as whether the Pearland ISD junior highs should be renamed, if “wings” be individually named, the football stadium renamed and other facility naming issues.

Presented to the board at its Nov. 12 meeting, the committee findings indicated there is little support — at least for now —  for renaming the junior highs. One reason is that money would have to be spent to update signs, uniforms, etc., though the committee was open to revisiting the topic in the future.

The committee supported individual names for public areas, such as gyms or auditoriums. A “Hall of Honor” concept arose among the committee members, a place where those who have uniquely contributed to PISD — living or dead — could be acknowledged.

The committee also supported naming wings or buildings at Pearland High as well as keeping the Searcy name associated with the campus. There was no support for renaming Pearland High. The committee did support naming the south building after Preston Bullard and the north building for Sheryl Searcy.

“A lot of my staff started out with the feeling of ‘We really want to become one,'” Pearland High Principal John Palombo told the school board. “That’s one of the things the bond project was doing was bringing our campuses together and not having two separate sides, but after doing the homework and talking to more staff members, one of the things that came out of it was there’s nothing wrong with having a principal’s names on our building. It also puts us in a position where our directionally challenged staff it’s easier to find. We would like to honor Sheryl Searcy as well.”

Although there was strong support to make the football stadium equitable between the two high schools and their mascots, the committee in general didn’t support naming the stadium after a person. They did support “customizable” options for the stadium such as a changeable sign. 

NEW POSITION

The school board on Nov. 12 approved the addition of a new position — director of early childhood education, at a cost of $118,927 per year including salary and benefits. The position is necessary since recent legislation requires a full-day pre-kindergarten program for all eligible students.

“This is not an option for school districts; this is a requirement. The only option is how fast you can get it together,” Superintendent John Kelly said. “In our particular case, we believe we can implement this by fall of 2020.”

It is a massive undertaking, he added.

“We believe we need something at the director level to handle this,” he said.

The position would also be responsible for providing continuity from the pre-K to the district’s kindergarten and primary grades. 

OTHER BUSINESS

Also during the meeting, the school board cast its votes for directors of the Brazoria County Appraisal District. Thirty-four governmental entities within Brazoria County have the opportunity to cast votes for candidates nominated to serve on a five-member governing board of the Appraisal District, all of whom serve the same two year period.  George Sanders is the nominee of both the City of Pearland and Pearland ISD. 

Since a small portion of Pearland ISD lies in Harris County, the district also cast a vote to endorse Martina Dixon and Ben Pape to the Harris County Appraisal District.

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