Maybe it is just a name after all

A writer reflects on whether a school's value lies in what it's called or in how the students feel about it.

Dear Editor,

It has been about a year since I last contributed an opinion to The Journal. Some might remember, but for those who don’t let me refresh your memory.

A year ago there was a bit of a stir and some controversy over the process and naming of the Ashcroft K–12 school. I was vocal about my thoughts on the subject, not really approving of the final decision of the name Desert Sands Community School.

I have never been one to shy away from admitting being wrong (as it’s happened numerous times to me over the years), so I am going to admit it again. I was wrong. When I voiced my opinions about the decision of the school name I really was not looking at the big picture: that in the end it’s not about what the name of a school is, but the importance of what is happening within the school. And what was happening there was amazing this year.

The K–12 school has had its first year, and as a parent I could not be happier with how it went. In a transition year I am sure there were many kinks to work out, and probably always will be, but if there were any the staff either hid them or dealt with them quickly. As an outsider everything seemed great. I spent a lot of time there for drop-offs in the morning and pick-ups in the afternoon, and was always welcomed by a smile or hello from staff members. A fantastic job was done by principals Mrs. Minnabarriet and Mrs. Schalles, along with the entire staff. They should all be proud of themselves for what they have accomplished this year, and this parent is very grateful.

Our community is very fortunate to have such an amazing facility for our children. The question of the K–12 concept came up many times at the start of the school year, and I have to say we have some fantastic teenagers attending the school. It was great to hear my son come home saying how he was helped out by one of the big kids in his school on more then one occasion. There were plenty of smiles on his face after school, and in the end I am sure that is what any parent wants.

Also, DSCS has a great group of ladies who form the Parent Advisory Council. They too had a big transition this year, and the effort and time they contributed are very much appreciated. Two thumbs up for their efforts on the recent fun fair. It was well attended and everyone enjoyed themselves very much.

As well as this year went, I can’t help but feel excited for future years as my children go through their school years. It is only going to get better. As excited as they are, I can’t help but share that excitement. Having said all of this, it is hard to understand the energy that was put behind the fight that went on during the time of the name change. In the end it’s what’s inside that matters most of all.

Again, thank you to all the staff at Desert Sands for making me happy; but more importantly for making my son happy. That’s what it is all about in the end: the happiness of our children.

Tyrone Laskey

Ashcroft