Parrish residents will soon find out what the new high school in the north county community will be named.
It could be Neal High School (presumably after developer and former state Sen. Pat Neal). It could be Dr. Diana Greene High School (after the current superintendent). And it could be Epic High (either a misspelled homage to a South Korean rap group, or just a name indicating the new school’s awesomeness).
But, if tradition holds true, the School Board of Manatee County most likely will name the school for its geographical location.
I like Parrish High. I’ve been saying that for a year.
School Board of Manatee County Chairman Charlie Kennedy
“I like Parrish High,” Board Chairman Charlie Kennedy said. “I’ve been saying that for a year.”
The board is scheduled to narrow a list of 60 nominations to its top three during a board workshop on Tuesday, and it will select a name during a public hearing at the Aug. 8 board meeting. The district collected name suggestions from March 9 to April 12.
All six of Manatee’s traditional high schools are named for the geographic location where they sit. But the new school in Parrish presents a challenge. With Palmetto High School down the road, two PHS designations could lead to confusion, something Greene has pointed out at previous board meetings. North River High is a possibility if the board members want to be geographic but avoid the PHS confusion.
The most popular name among the nominations — in a landslide — was Travis Seawright. Seawright, who died in January 2016, founded the Manatee County youth livestock fair, taught agriculture at Southeast High School and was a pillar of the agricultural and educational community for years.
The board is scheduled to narrow a list of 60 nominations to its top three during a board workshop on Tuesday, and it will select a name during a public hearing at the Aug. 8 board meeting.
Seawright High garnered 154 nominations, and Travis Seawright High was nominated six times. After Seawright, the most commonly nominated names were North River High (24), Parrish High (14) and Thelma Strickland Parrish (8).
District spokesman Mike Barber said the decision was up to the board and the administration was not making a recommendation. There are no policies regarding who or what a school can be named, Barber said.
At Tuesday’s workshop, the board also will discuss the district’s policy on elementary school homework. Marion County superintendent Heidi Maier recently announced that Marion’s elementary schools no longer would assign homework, and instead encouraged parents to read to their children for 20 minutes every night.
Kennedy said he liked the move in Marion, and on Twitter he called on Greene to make a similar policy in Manatee.