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Beaverton School Board rules out naming school facilities

Four members block policy change allowing fields, auditoriums to memorialize former students and staff


A majority of the Beaverton School Board appears to be against changing a district policy to allow facilities within schools to be given separate names.

During Monday night's meeting, board members discussed whether to modify the board's naming facilities and memorializing policy.

The move was prompted by a community campaign and request to rename the Southridge High School football stadium Andrew Keller Memorial Field in honor of the 2008 Southridge graduate who was killed in action while leading his Army unit in Afghanistan.

As the existing policy is written, auditoriums, athletic fields, the cafeteria, lobby, library and other facilities within a school cannot have a different name.

After Monday's meeting, it appears that rule will stand.

While board members Mary VanderWeele, Tom Quillin and Linda Degman supported a move to direct the board's Policy Committee to recommend changes to the policy, LeeAnn Larsen, Sarah Smith and Karen Cunningham opposed the move.

Board member Jeff Hicks, whose zone represents Southridge High School, was sick and unable to attend the meeting to take part in the discussion and hear what other board members had to say. However, Hicks' prepared written statement read at the beginning of the discussion served as the tipping point to keeping the policy rule that prohibits facilities within a school from being given a different name.

While that specific revision appears off the table for now, board members were open to rewriting other portions of the policy.

About 35 people in the audience — including Keller's parents Jeff and Kim, brother Derek and fiance Marissa Jones — were disheartened by the direction of the discussion.

A full story about what happened at the meeting, next steps and community reactions will be in this week's issue of the Beaverton Valley Times.




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