New Name For Eastern Middle School in Duluth Chosen After Controversy

By KBJR News 1

November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2011 at 10:15 PM CST

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - After disputing whether the eastern middle school in Duluth should be named after a man who gave his money, or two women who gave their time, school board members came to an agreement Tuesday on naming the school.

It involves using the names of all three people.

It's a three-part solution. The first part of the agreement was naming the eastern middle school "Ordean East", after Albert Ordean, a Duluth banker, who several decades ago left money for needy students when he died.

The next part is to name the East High School auditorium "Myers-Wilkins Auditorium" after Ruth Myers and Marge Wilkins.

One was American Indian and the other African American.

Both gave their time and were known as "grandmothers" among students.

The third part is to rename Grant Elementary school, Myers-Wilkins Elementary.

Board member Tim Grover was the one who put the three-part solution forward.

Grover hopes residents, "see it as a compromise of sorts and a way to move on and get to know each other across the cultural and racial divide in this community."

Grover said he was appalled by some of the comments made by residents on blogs over the naming dispute, many of which were racially motivated.

Two board members didn't agree with the naming.

Board member Gary Glass abstained saying he didn't like the process of choosing the names, and member Art Johnston voted no, saying he didn't agree with the name of the school or the process.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com