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We will avoid passing judgment on the way the Shelby County School Board handled the idea of outsourcing its after-school program to the YMCA.
We simply will say that the board gets an A for imagination and a D in classroom participation. Its communication with affected families on this issue was non-existent, and the fact that the administration didn’t anticipate the outrage would merit detention.
But the board’s GPA this week does get a boost by one brilliant and quick decision: Its plan to name its new secondary center for former Governor Martha Layne Collins.
For all of us who simply were thinking that the school would be named West Shelby, in keeping with the penchant of counties around us for creating directional names (read: Oldham and Bullitt), this was a wonderful and thoughtful surprise.
Martha Layne Collins has for 25 years been one of our proudest natives, rising to become our state’s only woman governor.
She has presented herself with intelligence, class, dignity and poise while leading this state. What better role model is there for today’s students?
Yes, Gov. Collins has done us proud, and this naming does her proud, too, as it were.
In its nomination material for this idea, the administration noted for the board that Collins, a graduate of Shelbyville High School, first had been a teacher and then an advocate for education as she rose to the governor’s mansion. Her curriculum vitae could not fit this honor more precisely.
We have heard that Gov. Collins was thrilled when she learned of the board’s plan, and we share that thrill on behalf of our citizens. It’s just one of those perfect matches that defies the normal course of public decision-making. This one worked out right.
But we would like to offer one more suggestion.
The school’s nickname and mascot, always heavily debated topics that are important to creating a unique identity around which the community can rally, now would seem fairly obvious.
What else should you call teams from Martha Layne Collins High School in the county named for Isaac Shelby but…The Governors?