Evergreen School Board members select names for new facilities

Both schools are part of the $695 million bond package passed in February 2018 that will result in the construction of 10 schools and facility upgrades at the district’s remaining facilities

VANCOUVER — Members of the Evergreen School Board selected names for two new school facilities at Tuesday’s School Board meeting, choosing from a list of names researched, vetted and recommended by students and staff of the district’s new elementary school (previously referenced as Elementary No. 22), and 49th Street Academy.

Emerald Elementary

Emerald Elementary will be the name of the new school currently under construction at the corner of NE 162nd Avenue and NE 39th Street in east Vancouver.  Students, after soliciting and researching 48 suggested names, conducted three meetings and surveyed hundreds of students, staff and community members, before presenting the Board with three names: Emerald, Springbrook and Spirit Ridge. 

In selecting “Emerald,” board members noted the students’ input. Students believed that Emerald was a reflection of Washington state’s environment and climate. They also referenced that in the book/movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” the main characters sought brains, heart and courage which reflect what students are striving for in Evergreen Public Schools. 

In addition, Board President Julie Bocanegra noted the students can be seen as little gemstones of Evergreen and the emerald is tied to the characteristics of mercy, compassion and universal love. Emerald Elementary will open in September 2020 with approximately 500 students who currently attend Burnt Bridge Creek, Harmony and Pioneer elementary schools. Darcy Mitchelson, the current principal of Burnt Bridge Creek, has been named the principal of Emerald Elementary.

Here is a link to YouTube video chronicling the naming process: https://youtu.be/kQiRpNKQUZY

Hollingsworth Academy

The district’s 49th Street Academy therapeutic day school, currently situated on the campus of Burnt Bridge Creek Elementary (located on NE 49th Street) will be renamed Hollingsworth Academy when its new facility opens in the fall of 2021. It will be on a shared campus with Legacy High School and the Transitions Program at NE 164th Ave and NE 9th Street, adjacent to Leroy Haagen Memorial Park. 

The students and staff presented three names: Hollingsworth, Edwin T. Pratt and Parkview. In selecting the name, the School Board referenced the information presented about 99 year-old education pioneer Dorothy Hollingsworth saying, “We admire that she started the discussion around equity and equality in education by helping us take the first step towards an education system that prepared all children for a better and more prosperous future.” 

In 1965, Hollingsworth was named as the first director of Seattle Public Schools Head Start program. When she ran, and was elected to the Seattle School Board in 1975, she was the first African-American woman in the state of Washington to serve on a school board. She later served as a member of the Washington State Board of Education.

Both schools are part of the $695 million Bond package passed in February 2018 that will result in the construction of 10 schools and facility upgrades at the district’s remaining facilities. Emerald, along with rebuilt Image and Sifton elementary schools, will all open for the 2020-21 school year.

Evergreen Public Schools, with 25,000 students and 3,300 staff members, is the sixth largest school district in the state, and the third largest employer in Clark County