Renaming Schools – Where We Are Now

After a series of ten virtual meetings, the Corvallis School District School Renaming Task Force finalized its work on January 12, 2021. This 13 member group was charged with providing Superintendent Ryan Noss suggested names for Jaguar, Husky, and Wildcat Elementary schools and reviewing the names of all other district buildings based on the criteria in Corvallis School Board Resolution 20-0801.

The task force was made up of students and parents/guardians (including those from the three schools noted above), and community members with racial lived experience. District consultant, Dr. Melanie Quaempts, Ed.D., facilitated the meetings and provided a compilation report of task force meetings to Superintendent Noss.

Public input was sought during this process through a feedback form available from October through mid-December on the district website. Equity Coordinator Marcianne Rivera Koetje also led discussions and received input on the potential names from parents/guardians and students who are traditionally underrepresented including those who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC.) By mid-November, the task force had reviewed 140 public input suggestions for school names. 

The specificity of the criteria provided in the board resolution helped to narrow the list of potential names submitted by the public and generated by the task force. Taskforce members completed research assignments between meetings to compile biographical information on the final 22 names in consideration. 

At their final meeting in January 2021, task force members engaged in breakout group discussion to ensure that all voices and perspectives were captured in the finalized list of 22 potential names for the three schools. The task force recommended a thorough historical review of each individual on the list and reinforced their belief that the research should show that the biographical information about these individuals demonstrates a life-long effort toward social justice and anti-racist activism.

The task force finalized the list of potential school names as follows:

Ella Baker
Beatrice M. Cannaday
Letitia Carson
Bessie Coleman
Mercedes Diez
Hannah and Eliza Gorman
Fannie Lou Hamer
Kathryn Jones Harrison
William Hilliard
Robin Holmes
Jovita Idar
Jennifer Keelan – Chaffins
John Lewis
Esther Pohl Lovejoy
Mabel Ping-Hua Lee
Sonny Montes
Ava Helen Pauling
Harriet Tubman
Mae Yih
Minoru Yasui

What's Next for the School Renaming Process for Husky, Jaguar, and Wildcat?

A small team of distinguished Oregon State University history professors are researching the list of names and will utilize the board criteria as they develop a final report for the Superintendent that is expected in early May.

Superintendent Noss will synthesize the committee’s recommendation and the biographical findings and will bring forward a recommendation to the school board later this spring. The Corvallis School Board may then take action on the renaming of Jaguar, Husky, and Wildcat Elementary Schools or may determine next steps for their process.