John Wall, Chuck Norris, Hannah Montana and William Shatner all have one thing in common: the new elementary school under construction on Keithshire Way won't be named for any of them.
The four are among names the public has submitted to the Fayette County Public Schools to be considered for the new school. But, under school regulations, schools can't be named for living persons. So Wall, Norris and Shatner are out, as is Montana, the fictitious TV personality played by teen singer Miley Cyrus.
Fortunately, plenty of other names have been submitted, about 180 in all. The submission deadline was Aug. 17.
A committee of Fayette school district officials, parents and school representatives has been sifting through the submissions and narrowing choices. The panel expects to submit a recommendation to the Board of Education at its planning meeting Monday night. The board would act on the recommendation at its meeting Sept. 27. It either could adopt the committee recommendation, ask the panel to reconsider or pick a name of its own.
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Meribeth Gaines, who will be principal of the new school and who is a member of the name-screening committee, said the names that have been submitted run the gamut from the famous to the obscure to the "entertaining," including people living and dead.
The rule against naming schools for living people eliminated many submissions.
Among them: President Barack Obama; Harry Sykes, the former city councilman and civil rights leader; John Calipari; Billy Ray Cyrus; Tyson Gay; Taylor Swift; Guy Potts, the former Fayette school superintendent; Jean Ritchie, the Kentucky folk singer; and J. (John) Peterman, the Lexington catalog marketing king .
The names of many famous or noteworthy deceased people also were submitted and could be considered for the school. They include: Abraham Lincoln; S.T. Roach, the local famed basketball coach and integration leader who died last week; President Ronald Reagan; Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky historian; sports commentator Cawood Ledford; Adolph Rupp; Brenda Cowan, a Lexington firefighter killed in the line of duty in 2005; Bryan Durman, a Lexington police officer killed by a hit-and-run driver in May; Pat Smith, the Lexington Habitat for Humanity official who was killed in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 at Blue Grass Airport in 2006; black jockey Isaac Murphy; and Thomas Hunt Morgan, the Lexington native and Nobel Prize-winning embryologist.
You might need a Kentucky history book to appreciate the significance of some names. For example, there's William "King" Solomon, an alcoholic vagrant who lived in Lexington during the 1830s. Solomon became a hero when he volunteered to dig graves during a deadly cholera epidemic. Or there is Blackhoof, a Shawnee Indian chief during Kentucky's frontier days.
Then there are what Gaines calls the "entertaining" names. They include, All About The Test Elementary, suggested by someone who said "all elementary schools do is test, not teach;" It'sabouttime Elementary; and My Elementary.
The most popular name among the submissions? More than 20 people suggested calling the new school Keithshire Elementary.
The school is to open in fall 2011.