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23 suggestions given for school name
A list of potential names for elementary school site #15 will be announced during the Information & Study portion of the March 29 meeting of the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees.

CUSD secured $20 million in funding for the construction of the new school last December. Elementary School #15 will open its doors at Central and Grayson roads in the fall of 2014.

"It's going to be a tough decision," said Trustee President Jim Kinard of choosing a name. "There's a lot of good people. Next board meeting, we'll submit our top five and give the public an opportunity to comment."

Among the 23 names suggested were:

• Wayne Salter

• Fran Welsh

• Linda Owen

• Annabel M. Murata

• Bruce Aguilar

• Gail Jackson

• Cassius Warner

• John Service

• Daniel Whitmore

• Vilas

• Eric Ingwerson

• Teresa Guerrero

• Grayson

• Almond

• Almond Tree

• Ray Baltz

• Beatrice Lingenfelter

• West Side

• Sneed

• Linda Cooper

• Constitution

• Patricia "Kay" Beaver

• Steven Fabela.

Owen and Murata received the most nominations from citizens.

"The No. 1 priority for me is what have they've done for education," Kinard said while talking about what he focuses on during the selection process. "I also look at what other things they've done in the community. It's not a popularity contest."

Mark Jeffery, a sixth-grade teacher at Westport Elementary, and a number of his colleagues want to see the new school named in honor of Owen.

"Linda Owen was a teacher in CUSD (at Westport) for 40 years," Jeffery stated on his submission form. "When she retired last year, (CUSD Supt.) Scott Siegel remarked that a pin had to be custom made because no one in recent memory had worked in the district that long. Even though Linda would never seek attention for herself, she represented all that is good about education: dedication to children and families, never giving up on a child, consistent work ethic, fairness, inquisitiveness, a thirst for knowledge, loyalty to her peers and school, and her own calm demeanor. In addition, based on the location (of the new school), it appears that some of its students will be from our current attendance area. That gives a strong connection to the old and the new-a former Westport teacher and a new beginning for that area."

As part of the process of naming Elementary School Site #15, the public had one month to submit name recommendations to the Board.

In other CUSD news, the Ceres School Board approved a list of certificated employees recommended for permanent status, effective with the 2012-13 school year. The following employees received satisfactory evaluations: Amy Dabulewicz (Adkison Elementary), Elizabeth Briar (Blaker-Kinser Jr. High School), Alexandra Pease (Blaker-Kinser), Seth Aldrich (Cesar Chavez Jr. High School), Elizabeth Capdevielle (Chavez), Melyssa Cook (Mae Hensley Jr. High School), Margarita Arzola (Central Valley High School), Efrain Hinojosa (Central Valley), Susana Kandeel (Central Valley), Megan Webster (Central Valley), Sara Wilson (Central Valley), Brian Wise (Central Valley), Stefanie Alvarez (Ceres High School), Michael Patterson (Ceres High), Ruth Truesdell (Ceres High), Angelina Berger (Whitmore Charter Schools), Kathie Knudsen (Whitmore), Karina Koizumi Fielden, Sharon Crain (Preschool/HeadStart), Amy Stubblefield (Preschool/HeadStart), Benjamin Reece (Student Support Services), Gwen Rogers (SSS), Kristin Lilly Porter (administrators), Dan Pangrazio (Administrators), Christina Siller (administrators), Jan Wood (administrators).