With a new campus set to open this summer, the Santa Maria-Bonita School District is seeking suggestions for a name and volunteers to evaluate submissions.

Ideas for possible names must be submitted by Feb. 17.

The form is available on the district’s website and includes a spot to justify why that name should be chosen. 

As of Tuesday, the district had received nine suggestions for proposed names of the new elementary campus on Biscayne Street, just north of Carmen Lane. 

“Which is actually a lot considering the form to submit a name just went live on our website Friday,” said Maggie White, district spokeswoman. “There’s is definitely interest out there.”

During planning and construction, the district’s 20th campus informally has been dubbed Acquistapace school after the family that owned the property when the district purchased the land.

The district went through a similar name-selection process a decade ago to designate two new elementary schools plus a junior high school.

Those campuses were dubbed Liberty Elementary, David J. Sanchez Sr. Elementary and Tommie Kunst Junior High schools. 

Potential ideas can be historical or geological landmarks; names reflecting cultural and historical aspects of the community; names of flora and fauna; names of distinguished men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the community, state, nation or to the general welfare of mankind, in arts, science, government or education; or families with historical significance. 

However, names of streets or commercial developments are not allowed, under district rules. 

People who submit a name for consideration are asked to provide reasons why that name would be appropriate for a new school.

“This is an exciting time,” White said. “It’s fun.” 

In addition to name nominations, the district is seeking volunteers to serve on the School Naming Committee that will whittle down suggestions to three.

The finalists will be submitted to the school board, which will make the final choice.

The deadline to apply to be on the naming committee is Feb. 12, with applications available by clicking here.

District rules call for the committee to have students who will attend the school, parents, a teacher, a classified employee, a principal, community representation, parents, the architect and a school board member. 

According to district guidelines, members of the committee will be selected by lottery.

Patty Grady, assistant superintendent of human resources, will lead the naming committee but will not be a voting member. 

The committee likely will meet in the evenings three or four times in February and early March to deliberate the merits of the suggested school names.

The school board is tentatively set to review the names March 11 and vote on them April 15.

“Our timeline is certainly flexible if it needs to be,” White said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com.