MHS2 Lopeman
MUSD Superintendent Dr. Tracey Lopeman speaks at the gym dedication event for the city's second high school. The MUSD board considered three names for the school Wednesday - Pecan Groves, Vekol, and Sonoran Sunrise - but did not make a final decision. [Jay Taylor photo]

The Maricopa Unified School District postponed a decision on naming the city’s second high school at Wednesday’s governing board meeting, choosing to take more time to consider its options. The three names presented to the governing board by the naming committee were Pecan Groves, Vekol and Sonoran Sunrise.

The board will take up the issue again Dec. 2.

The board members felt the decision was simply too important to rush, or to make on an artificial deadline.

“It’s going to be here a lot longer than we are and it needs to speak volumes about how amazing our community is,” said member Torri Anderson. “I think it’s an easy fix. I’m not worried about it.”

Robert Downey said the school names in his native Ireland were a lot easier, as they were primarily named for the street they were on. But he did feel taking the extra time will be worth it to get the right name.

“Absolutely. This is the first high school split and the first major name that’s come in a long time, we have to get it right,” he said.

Anderson noted that all the city’s other schools are named after landmarks, and it would be nice to keep that tradition.”

Board member AnnaMarie Knorr suggested during the debate that the board consider an alternative name, Desert Sunrise. Several of the board members, including Knorr and Torri Anderson, said they liked Sunrise in the name, as it related to something very powerful in the Native American culture.

But in the end, the members agreed the decision would require some more thought. Board chairman Ben Owens was succinct in his analysis of whether the delay was worth it.

“We only get one shot at it,” he said.