Phoenix, Talent take first steps to rename two schools, district

PHOENIX — After four months of idea generation and research, leaders of the Phoenix-Talent School District have decided to rename the district and both Phoenix High School and Talent Middle School.

Now the community gets to weigh in.

"We serve four separate areas: Talent, Phoenix, parts of Medford and of unincorporated Jackson County, but our name only reflects two of those," Human Resources Director Cally McKenzie said in a news release issued Friday. "Renaming the district and two schools will allow us to unify our constituencies, clarify our identity and create a much stronger sense of pride and belonging."

More than 50 names and combinations were considered by a naming committee made up of school board members, administrators, teachers, a student representative and local marketing professionals. The committee's first step was to unanimously support a suggestion to drop "school district" as part of the new name in favor of simply "schools."

The four names under consideration are Rogue South Schools, South Valley Schools, South Rogue Schools and South Rogue Valley Schools.

Phoenix High School and Talent Middle School will adopt the preferred new first name, while the names of Talent Elementary, Phoenix Elementary and Orchard Hill Elementary will remain the same, accompanied by the new district name.

For example, if the chosen name is Rogue South Schools, the high school would become Rogue South High School and the middle school would become Rogue South Middle School. Talent Elementary would keep its name, but would be called Talent Elementary, a Rogue South School.

Phoenix High and Talent Middle students will have an opportunity to pick their favorite name by means of a written ballot vote on Monday, May 7.

Parents, alumni, school supporters and other community members can cast their votes at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at Phoenix High School, 745 N. Rose St., and 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Talent Middle School, 102 Christian Ave.

The school board will review the votes and approve the new name at its regularly scheduled meeting June 7.

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