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What's in a name? With new school, plenty

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Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Armstrong School Board Director Dr. Paul Lobby says the proposed name for the district's new high school — to be built in Manor Township — might not sit well with those in the area served by West Shamokin High School in the eastern county.

Naming the new school Armstrong Junior-Senior High School might make those in the West Shamokin area feel as if they're not part of the Armstrong district, he says.

Tempest in a teapot — or a serious matter?

Given that West Shamokin sits along the westernmost section of the historic Great Shamokin Path used by Native Americans, we thought it was a brilliant name. But in naming the newest school, obviously nobody wants to use the name of any town for fear that somebody would feel disenfranchised — especially in a district where such sensitivity run strong (if not to the extreme).

Armstrong Central might be a good name, but it is no doubt in disfavor because that was the name of an aborted attempt to merge Kittanning and Ford City high schools some years ago.

While we believe the proposed name works well — and clearly the county's name could use a little more exposure — perhaps a name can be found that refers to the Allegheny River. (Yes, we know Riverside has been taken for a school in Oakmont, downriver in Allegheny County.)

What's needed is some creativity, and we're confident there are loads of creative people in the district. This should be a fun project — not a matter for dispute.

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