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Community weighs in on name for Bozeman’s new high school

Posted at 10:55 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 13:47:58-05

UPDATED, 11:40 a.m., 2/27/2019: An earlier version of this story said the school board would not revisit its decision. On Wednesday, school officials announced they would meet to discuss the choice of name for the high school.

BOZEMAN, Mont. – There were 176 names suggested for Bozeman’s under-construction second high school. On Monday night, the School Board chose Bozeman Westslope High School as the official name.

The community feedback hasn’t been overly positive since the announcement.

Many members of the community have been expressing their thoughts on the name of the new high school on social media since yesterday evening, and several people have shared that they aren’t happy with the school board’s decision.

“There’s no significance to it and some people were saying it was tied into the west slope of the Bridgers or the westslope cutthroat. It just doesn’t have a significance to it, and westslope within itself doesn’t have any ring to it,” Bozeman resident Jeff Krogstad said.

“It’s interesting that the term ‘Westslope’ obviously isn’t necessarily known right away but as you start thinking about it, it does signify the state fish. We have a history of naming the other schools after state things; Meadowlark is named after the state bird, so it’s important that folks know the rationale that went into this,” said Bozeman School District Superintendent Rob Watson.

The high school transition committee took all of the suggestions from the community and narrowed down the list to three: Bozeman Spanish Peaks High School, Bozeman Storm Castle High School, and Bozeman Westslope.

Community members have expressed that they wish they were able to vote on the three names to choose the winner.

“But what’s stipulated in our policy is that the board will make the final decision, so by doing that, it would have been a little bit against policy plus it wasn’t the direction they wanted to go,” Watson said.

The community has hopes that this decision will be reversed.

“I think it would be important that they reconsider their vote because they are the deciding body, they can reconsider their vote. I think it would be good because I think a lot of the community doesn’t like it. It’s our high school as a community. This is our school, it should be our choice,” Krogstad said.

On Wednesday, school officials announced they will meet sometime next week to revisit and discuss their decision for the name of the new high school.