We now know the names of the two new schools in Sioux Falls. In a news conference Thursday the Sioux Falls School District Facilities Naming Committee announced the names will be Thomas Jefferson High School and Ben Reifel Middle School.
The committee says they received over 2,200 responses for names from the community. And about 2/3 of those responses came in as Thomas Jefferson.
An area on the northwest side of Sioux Falls will soon be home to Thomas Jefferson High School, and a piece of land just northeast of 41st street and Highway 11 will be where you will find Ben Reifel Middle School.
But how did the committee decide which names to pick?
“Through the process we did utilize the school board policy and followed those processes with the naming of any of our facilities,” Assistant Superintendent Sioux Falls School District, James Nold said.
Plus how the individuals had an impact on South Dakota and also education.
“The impact on education that Jefferson had, obviously as a president, in fulfilling that with Mount Rushmore, specifically things that Thomas Jefferson did on education, as founding father of the Declaration of Independence,” Nold said.
“I feel they honor education particularly with both individuals, Native American recognition to me is just so important as the demographics in our school district have changed over time,” president of the School Board, Kent Alberty said.
Now that the names have been chosen, the committee is looking forward to the future of the schools.
“The next step now that we have a name is to begin to call it by that name, if the board approves that, and then to have the building built so we can have students in there as soon as possible,” Nold said.
The school board will vote on the names next week. There will be a construction update on the high school during the school board meeting as well.