Dr. Wiegand shares on NewsTalk 1400 & Carrie Busey name

First the links:

NG focuses on the potential, possible, maybe new name of the new Carrie Busey building. The NewsTalk feed only covers it for about…. 45 seconds or so. But NG also has a 25 second sound bite from Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton (who has been very involved in the district for quite some time).

Highlights from the NewsTalk show:

  • A little bit of background on why Dr. Wiegand submitted her application for Superintendent late. She mentions that there was a lot going on, she was taking on more responsibilities and how Dr. Bob Malito was a huge influence.
  • Talk of how she, representing the Administration, will be going back to the BOE with high school options they have been talking about. A bit of the interview is devoted to this topic, discussing how Adminstration has been reviewing all the survey responses we the public have been giving and what they are learning about the sites. I also have knowledge that a Master Student at the University is currently studying these options and it will be interesting to see what kind of research comes out of that work.
  • As previously mentioned, only a small amount of time was given to the possible (inevitable?) new name of Carrie Busey. Given that they will keep the Carrie Busey name with the current building on Kirby, there is talk of what to name the new building. And perhaps, as the NG boldly states, they may call it “Prairie Fields”. Wiegand also mentioned how the current building will be used, first by West View then others, as schools are upgraded.

So here is an issue for me. In Helton’s sound bite, he mentioned that the Village Board heard from “members of the Prairie Fields Home Owners’ Association”. While this is technically true, I believe that more specifically, they heard from the Board of Directors, and even more specifically, one or two people in particular. On the other hand, I am hearing from parent’s that they do not feel represented at all, as nobody asked them what their opinion was, and here we have elected officials out stating an opinion for the entire neighborhood. They are a tad upset about that.

What should have been done? How should these one-off conversations have proceeded in such a way not to alienate groups? I think, even if the Boards involved would have put out an email or something in a newsletter that said something to effect of “hey, Carrie Busey will probably get a new name, tell us what you think” would have been a good start. And now we are going to have parent’s reading this in the news and on TV/radio and be like “Hey, that is not what I think!!” Regardless of whether they might eventually be on the same page or not, this is not a good first step, IMO.

Update: I started a discussion board for this back in November:

http://www.cb-pta.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=21

[note to self: Ughn, going to have to change the name of the website….]

Putting that aside, there are whole chunks of conversations that are happening (and probably more that need to happen) surrounding the high school options. I sure hope we have more public forums to discuss those. And I was excited to hear about a researcher out of Urban Planning that is looking at the options. Woot! Good news.

I must say, in closing, that I glad that Dr. Judy Wiegand is getting the news out to the public. That is great! Even if it disturbs the bees’ nest. In fact, I might go so far as to say that opening a can of worms is a good thing, in that it gets people talking and thinking, hopefully down the path of thinking critically.

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3 Responses to “Dr. Wiegand shares on NewsTalk 1400 & Carrie Busey name”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    The existing policies seem to indicate that the Superintendent initiates some form of communication regarding the name of a new building:
    Applicable Board Policy

    In the event the District is undertaking new construction, the Superintendent will be responsible for soliciting names from staff, students, and community, and will prepare, for approval of the Board, a timetable for the naming process. The timetable will take into account that there will be less confusion in accounts, files, and records for new facilities if they are assigned names before construction begins.

    [ my emphasis ]

    The section underneath lays out more details, but this summary lays out the most important aspects. I am not seeing anywhere that the new construction must have a new name. But having different names certainly makes things less confusing.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    I was told that I was giving the impression that I favored a new name for the new construction. I do not.

    I do see where those who wish to change the name are coming from; it seems to me that Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton (who has some form of support from various members of the Village Trustees and representatives from the Prairie Fields Home Owners’ Association Board of Directors) wants to call it something like “Prairie Fields” school, to match the name with the location. I understand the reasoning in that – it certainly builds a strong bond with area residents, at least for those wishing to move in.

    Before today, I was under this strange impression that the current building holding the name of “Carrie Busey” was going to continue with that name no matter what. But then my wife reminded me that Dr. Wiegand could just as easily change the name of the old building, basically allowing the “Carrie Busey” identity to be established by and with the people, not by the physical structure. Which makes a whole heck of a lot of sense to me.

    Another argument I have heard comes from personal accounts of those who personally knew the woman Carrie Busey. I believe it was Arlene Blank who at a Unit 4 Board meeting in October (?) said something like “Carrie would roll over in her grave if the building was no longer called Carrie Busey.” I don’t know what to do with that.

    From what I hear, the Carrie Busey staff are opposed to the school having a new name when they move next year. From what I hear, parents are also opposed. So what it comes down to (from my perspective) is how important is it that the current (old) building retain the name it was given when founded?

    And this is what I hope to find out in the coming week.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    My email to Dr. Wiegand and the BOE:

    Just to clarify my own thoughts on the matter, I personally prefer the following in regards to the name “Carrie Busey”:
    1. Allow “Carrie Busey” to be associated with the people – apply “Carrie Busey” to the new construction in Savoy
    2. Rename the existing, old Kirby building (“Kirby campus”?)

    Is there any requirement that the new building have a new name? It seems like Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton is encouraging a new name (ie “Prairie Fields”), and I can understand why. As an engaged parent and involved volunteer, the brand “Carrie Busey” is more significantly attached to the people that make up the school; not to mention all the letterheads, signs, stationary, and websites. 🙂 And as I already mentioned, the confusion that would ensue after the March Assignment process.

    In the end, what factors will decide which building gets the name of “Carrie Busey”? I believe you, as Superintendent, have the final word and ultimate authority in the matter – is that correct?

    Thanks for your time.
    May you be refreshed after a hopefully relaxing weekend. 🙂


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