New Elkridge elementary school finally has a name

The Board of Education voted 6-2 Thursday night to name the new school in Elkridge "Ducketts Lane Elementary," for the street that it's on.

"I think it's important to rely on geography," said Board member Sandra French, who made the motion for the name. I know that not everyone (who will go to the school) lives on Ducketts Lane, but what (the name) does say is where the school is, given the difficulty of finding that road on Route 1. I think we need a school name as a designation."

The vote differed from the recommendation given to the board by the naming committee, which suggested "Stone Bridge Elementary," after the nearby Thomas Viaduct. That name had been the top vote-getter among committee members (Ducketts Lane had been second), and first among third- and fourth-grade students who will attend the school, but some board members expressed uneasiness with the process by which that name was selected.

For example, said Vice Chairman Brian Meshkin, the students voted before a final list of suggestions had been compiled, and before the committee was expanded last fall to include representatives from the community.

"It's an 'oops' moment I think is unfortunate," he said.

Some board members expressed reservations about voting against the students' wishes. Students from overcrowded Rockburn, Elkridge, Bellows Spring and Waterloo elementary schools will attend the school, which opens in August.

Student board member Cole Rosenberg said that while he personally liked Ducketts Lane as a name, he voted against it because it was not the top pick among students surveyed.

Board member Ellen Giles said after the meeting she voted against the name because it differed from the recommendation.

"The process played out and the recommendation was made," she said. "You honor the process and what you ask people to bring to you."

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