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West Fargo School Board will choose between three names for new elementary school

Proposed names include Rocking Horse Farm Elementary School, Meadowlark Elementary School and Veterans Elementary School.

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An artist's rendering of what will be the West Fargo School District's newest school in Rocking Horse Farm. Special to the Pioneer.
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WEST FARGO — The name of West Fargo School District's newest elementary school was narrowed down to the three choices Monday, April 11.

The West Fargo School Board will vote on the new name at its April 25 meeting. At that time, it will choose between Rocking Horse Farm Elementary School; Meadowlark Elementary School; or Veterans Elementary School.

Construction will begin this spring on the new school to be built in Fargo's Rocking Horse Farm neighborhood, west of Veterans Boulevard and north of 52nd Avenue South.

After receiving 350 submissions from the public of possible names, the board ranked its top choices and a list of seven potential names was discussed at Monday's meeting. Along with the final name choices, the public suggested Dakota Elementary School; Frontier Elementary School; Heartland Elementary School and Prairie Rose Elementary School.

Board member Jessica Jackson pointed to the history of West Fargo naming schools after the neighborhood where they are located, as well as more abstract names.
"We have a combination of local and different creative names, like Aurora and Legacy," Jackson said.

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Board member Trisha Page said her preference leaned heavily on Meadowlark.

While Board member Mark Staples didn't mind the location-based names, he wasn't keen on Rocking Horse Farm Elementary School.

"It wouldn't be my top choice," he said.

Board member Jon Erickson was ready to cross off Prairie Rose Elementary based on other Fargo locations that incorporate the name.

"There is already a prairie rose something so that didn't really fit for me," Erickson said.

Board President Jim Jonas did not receive any objections to removing the four schools from consideration.

Of the nearly 350 submissions, names ranged from abstract terms such as Justice ( a former contender in the name race for previous West Fargo elementary schools) to names that honor individuals.
The suggestions included individuals with clear ties to West Fargo, Fargo or North Dakota such as former West Fargo Superintendent David Flowers, former principal Greg Grooters, the late Attorney General Wayne Stenjehem, Aarland Rassmussen, North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani, Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer, who was killed in the line of duty, or former Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker.

It also included some nationally known individuals such as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Amelia Earhart, Theodore Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Roger Maris and John F. Kennedy as well as Donald J. Trump and Robert E. Lee, a confederate general.

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The school board will choose from the three final names at its Monday, April 25, meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Leidal Education Center, 207 Main Ave. W.

"We are looking for full consensus if possible when we name a building," District Spokeswoman Heather Leas.

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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