Board names future charter school
The Gowan Science Academy is officially the new name for the Crane Elementary School District sponsored charter school, set to be open fall of 2013.
During a Crane special meeting Wednesday, the board adopted the name with board members Brenna Paulin, Karen Johnson, Mary Garcia being the three yes votes; Steve Pallack being the only nay vote and Jim Colby abstaining from the vote.
Crane Superintendent Robert Klee said that he held a meeting with Crane charter school planning committee members who came up with three top name choices of Gowan School of Science, Gowan Science Academy or Crane Gowan Academy of Science. Other options suggested included Crane Academy of Math and Science, Crane Academy of Science, the Crane Gowan Science Academy and the Gowan Academy of Science.
The initial recommendation from the Crane charter school planning committee at a previous meeting was that the board name the school the “Jon and Caroline Jessen Science Academy,” but the board later abandoned the idea at the request of the Jessens.
Klee noted that Jon Jessen, founder and chairman of the board of directors for the Gowan Company and also a member of the Crane charter school planning committee, was more comfortable with having the school named after the Gowan Company than after himself because it was a group effort by all Gowan employees to earn the resources to help fund the school.
Garcia shared that the original intent behind naming the school after the Jessen family was to honor and recognize the family's efforts.
Colby said that he would rather not include Gowan in the name but have it focused on Crane.
“I'm not in favor of naming schools after people who are still alive,” he said.
Paulin commented that by including “Gowan” in the charter school's name, she didn't feel that it would be named after one specific person but after a group of people, which she thought made a big difference.
Johnson also asked about the reasoning for most of the name options leaving the word “Math” out of the title and Klee said that had to do with the fact that the school will have a foundation focused in science, but math will be integrated into the curriculum along with other core subjects.
Klee noted that it was important that the board decide on a name for the charter school so that they can move forward with paperwork. Enrollment for the Gowan Science Academy will start Jan. 7 and a director for the school is expected to be hired by Feb. 1. According to statute, Klee said, the selection priority for enrollment includes first-through fourth-grade students residing with in the Crane District first, non-resident students of Crane employees second and non-resident students from within the community third.
Visit www.craneschools.org/charterupdates for more information.