In the fall of 2015, a new elementary school will open in central Sioux Falls. After looking through hundreds of suggestions, the Sioux Falls School Board has decided on a name for the new building.
The new school is combining the students from Longfellow Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary and will be located where Mark Twain is right now. A strong push was made to keep the Mark Twain name on the building, but the board is electing to go a different direction.
A legendary activist for equal rights for women in the United States will have her name attached to Sioux Falls' brand new elementary school.
"Future students at Susan B. Anthony Elementary School may best be inspired by her for this three-word statement: 'Failure is impossible,'" one member of the naming committee added.
A panel of representatives from both Longfellow and Mark Twain Elementary schools made the recommendation for the name based off suggestions offered by the public, but not everyone is in complete agreement on the choice.
"I believe the name of our neighborhood school has been taken away and I believe the name of our neighborhood has also been taken away," Melanie Bliss said.
Bliss feels the name Mark Twain has too deep of a history in her community to be removed so easily.
"I sincerely hope that the steps used to receive the public input on Mark Twain school name were extensive and that neighbors and parents were contacted," Bliss said.
The members of the naming committee feel they have done just that by selecting Susan B. Anthony.
"To have that legacy live on in our community as we have talked many, many times at this board table, with the increasing diversity we have, I think it is a very fitting name," Sioux Falls School Board Vice-President Kent Alberty said.
This change does not mean the names of Longfellow and Mark Twain will soon be forgotten.
"Whether it's naming of certain areas or a trophy case with certain artifacts, something in there to preserve that legacy for those two schools that will be coming off-line. It's an important history," Sioux Falls School Board President Doug Morrison said.
That will not keep people like Bliss from holding onto what she has known to be true for years.
"I believe I still live in the Mark Twain neighborhood," Bliss said.