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School finally has a name

BARON ZAHURANEC
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” The students and parents have spoken and a new name was picked for Rifle’s newest elementary school.

Graham Mesa Elementary was settled upon by the Garfield County School District Re-2 board at the Sept. 30 meeting at Highland Elementary.

The district started with an autodialer questionnaire available to all the parents of Wamsley and Highland Elementary and the kids at both schools made suggestions. On the autodialer, parents were notified that a naming committee was being formed and that volunteers and suggestions were welcome, Assistant Superintendent Susan Birdsey said.



A group of five volunteers met, brainstormed, and looked at maps to get a feel of the local geological features, Birdsey said.

There were more than 80 suggestions from the committee, parents and students.



Then the top six names were chosen and were on ballots for the students and staff at the two elementary schools. There was another autodialer survey for parents at this point also. The choices were down to Tavaci, the Ute word for sun, Anvil Points, Sage, Graham Mesa, Canyon and Colt.

All of those votes were tallied and the top three choices remained: Graham Mesa, Canyon and Colt.

Graham Mesa is where the school actually sits just north of 16th Street, Canyon is named after an nearby irrigation ditch, and Colt is in reference to the street names associated with the subdivision next to the school, Birdsey said.

Of those three, there was a general election among the students and a final autodialer for parents. Around 335 votes came in for Graham Mesa, about 310 for Canyon, and Colt didn’t receive much support in the final voting, Birdsey said.

With the parents, staff, and students leaning towards Graham Mesa, the board voted unanimously.

“The whole process went pretty smoothly,” Birdsey said. “There was a lot of participation from the kids and their parents. The piece I feel really good about is the autodialer surveys. Those really let the parents voice their opinion.”

Graham Mesa Elementary will be open for school next fall.


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