Steele Creek schools get new names

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comApril 24, 2014 

— Several new names join a growing list of Steele Creek schools.

At its April 22 meeting, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education approved names for a new elementary school and additions to Olympic High School to take effect in the 2014-15 school year. All names were the top choices submitted to the district from school naming committees.

The newest school will be Palisades Park Elementary to open this summer on N.C. 49. Gina O’Hare will be principal. O’Hare knew before the name decision what mascot and school colors she’d have, following students and parents last month choosing teal and black Panthers.

Palisades Park “would recognize the significance of the Palisades housing development, the largest development in the school’s attendance area,” according to a naming committee recommendation, “as well as Palisades Park, a neighborhood park currently under construction adjacent to the school.”

The committee also noted Palisades developer Rhein Medall Communities’ work to provide land for the school and share in “significant development costs.” Missing the cut were McDowell Park Elementary School recognizing nearby McDowell Nature Preserve and the McDowell family as one of the earliest in Steele Creek, and Lake Point Elementary School referencing the new school’s proximity to Lake Wylie.

Another naming committee submitted three potential monikers for a new manufacturing school at Olympic High School. The School of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Advanced Manufacturing at Olympic High emerged as the top choice, and was approved last week by the school board.

“This was the first choice because the name recognized the total focus of the school,” states the committee recommendation, submitted to the board before Tuesday’s vote. “The acronym is attractive because of the ‘TEAM’ concept.”

Olympic is a combination of five high schools, each with a different focus. The Renaissance School at Olympic was one of the five, until it’s name change last week. About three times as many students, staff and parents voted for the Renaissance School of Arts and Technology at Olympic High as any of the similar variations presented to the board. The board agreed, re-branding the school to something its committee hopes will “more clearly define a connection between the school name and the curriculum being offered.”

A final name change came for the consolidation of two schools at Olympic. The board voted in December to bring together the International Business and Communications Studies and International Studies and Global Economics high schools into one school focused on finance and business leadership. The recommended name, the School of Executive Leadership and Entrepreneurial Development at Olympic High, got the nod.

District policy allows the board to name schools for geographic features, historical figures and sites or a deceased person whose name has “special significance” to the area. Buildings, wings or areas within schools can be named similarly, or for living people. They also can take names from a “commercial or corporate entity that has made significant contributions” to the school or district.

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