I usually try not to advertise too strongly that I have a vested interest at Carrie Busey; at least, not on this blog. I think it is more because I want the focus of this space to cover many different aspects of Unit 4. Having said that, there is some exciting stuff happening in and around Carrie Busey. It has to do with what to call the new school building in Savoy.
I realize some community folks still have some residual negativity towards a “south of University” school being built in what some consider a middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood. Still others are like “Savoy? You mean those [insert adjective] folks who voted against the MTD and don’t want to pay any taxes?”. And still, “Savoy? Where’s that?”
To those of us who live in Prairie Fields and have a child at Carrie Busey (and even for some that only match one of those criteria), this is a big deal. For everyone else, you might be wondering what all the brouhaha is about. In the larger scope of things, the name of the school is probably not that big of an issue – 6 years from now when the 2012 Kindergartner’s will be thinking about Middle School, I highly doubt anyone will acknowledge this little bit of excitement. So why am I making a post about it? Much less attaching “Conversation starter” to it? I will tell you.
It has to do with how people communicate. Or rather, how entities and groups communicate. Right now, there are several different entities wanting to express an opinion and hope to hold some sway. There are residents and CB staff who passionately want to keep the name with the people. There are Village officials who are interested in naming the school after the neighborhood. There is the sentiment that the woman for whom the school is named would “roll over in her grave” if the her name were painted off the current building which bears it. And then we have a Home Owner’s Association and a PTA that desire to represent their constituents. Which is where things get to be interesting. And all these folks want the ear of the Superintendent and the School Board. Oh, and as if we needed another twist to keep things interesting, incoming parents will be choosing which school they wish their child to attend in March. One month from now.
And finally, the punchline. I am excited because we are organizing an open forum to discuss this. The HOA, the Village of Savoy, the Board, the Superintendent, the building staff, the residents, the parents…. they will all be invited to sit down at the same table and hash things out. I hope Arlene Blank makes an appearance as well (providing that historical perspective, especially in light of her first-hand relationship with the woman Carrie Busey). People are going to have different thoughts, different viewpoints. They will be passionate, possible in different directions. In my opinion, it is important to hear those. To reiterate and say it differently, it is important to not shut out those other voices, but instead to convince people that they have worth and their opinions matter. And frankly, yes, it will probably be messy, and maybe not even appear to accomplish much. Maybe it will come off as lots of people make a really big fuss over such a small thing. Maybe. But if we get different people together and are able to enter into a dialectical conversation, then “mission accomplished”.
Forgive me for being somewhat Utopian and idealistic. But this is where I am at right now. Let me know if you disagree. 🙂