SD62 seeking public input on new name for school in South Langford

SD62 seeking public input on new name for school in South Langford
Photo: District of Sooke
SD62 administration office.

The Sooke School District 62 needs a name for its newest Langford elementary school and it’s calling on the public for help.

In the past, naming conventions followed a simple formula: People, communities and neighbourhoods. And if you look around, that’s what you’ll see.

David Cameron Elementary, Millstream Elementary, Colwood Elementary.

A school’s name isn’t just significant, it’s reflective — especially of the community it’s in.

That’s why the board has taken to the web to help gauge what locals deem most important to them.

In a poll created by SD62, locals are being asked: “What should be the name of the new elementary school in South Langford?”

And with any anonymous online poll, suggestions have already yielded everything from “Schooly McSchoolFace” to “Hogwarts.”

One popular decision airs on the side of simplicity, opting to name the school after the Latoria neighbourhood it will occupy in South Langford.

But a few names continue to resurface. One of them?

Scott Manning Elementary.

Manning was an educator from 1992 to 2018, serving as a teacher, vice principal, and principal.

“Scott was a dear friend, husband, father and mentor,” said Paul Block, the associate superintendent for SD62.

“We both lived and breathed the philosophy that education was the opportunity to serve, and every interaction was an opportunity to change a life for the better.”

He says Manning never let the fact that he was legally blind get in the way of trying new things and succeeding, and that his kindness and compassion coupled with his ability to “tell it like is” made him a positive force and a voice of reason in his circle of friends and community.

Support for the idea has been growing online, with those who knew Manning sharing the poll on Facebook and encouraging others to cast a vote his way.

“I know they don’t often name schools after people anymore in fear of skeletons coming out of their closet. But this name would stand the test of time,” writes one user.

“Scott Manning was a heroic and inspiring local teacher and administrator who lived here and made a difference to so many. He left us too soon,” reads another post.

As you swipe through the list of possible ideas, Manning’s name appears again and again.

This February will be the third year since he passed of cancer in 2020, just days before Family Day.

There are other ideas floating around on the page, but it’s abundantly clear the late principal’s memory lives on in the hearts of those in the community.

Another trending suggestion hopes to see the late RCMP Officer Cst. Sarah Beckett become memorialized by the school.

Beckett was killed in the line of duty in 2016.

Facilitators hope to draw potential names for the school at its open house next month at the Happy Valley Elementary school, Feb. 15th, 2023.

Voters are encouraged to cast their own ideas by visiting the school boards poll, available here.

After making their own suggestions, users are invited to go through a list of ideas and vote for their favourites.

“Families in South Langford are only a few short years away from having a new elementary school in their neighbourhood. As we begin construction later this spring, it is time that we start thinking about naming our new school,” said Ravi Parmar, Chair of the Sooke School District Board of Education.

The board asks users to consider their ideas and hopes to sample a variety of names that reflect and recognize the region’s culture, heritage and landscape.

Proposals are plentiful, but the final decision rests with the board. Of all the possibilities, only three will make it to the final stage for consideration.

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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