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Marysville-Getchell recommended as name of new high school

MARYSVILLE One thing is for certain already; students at the new Marysville high school will not be known as the Whiskey Ridge Bootleggers.
Long before dirt is moved on a new Getchell Hill campus, names are being considered for the 1,600-student high school and the most joked about failed to make the cut.
Name-calling is big business, and the Marysville School District wants to get it right. A committee appointed to find the right match has been meeting over the last month and has recommended Marysville-Getchell High School for the new name. Two other options forwarded to the school board include Marysville-Bayview and Marysville-East but those were also-rans according to committee chairwoman Deirdre Kvangnes.
It was hugely number one, by more than two-thirds, Kvangnes said.
The most important issue for the committee was maintaining the current nomenclature for Marysville-Pilchuck High School. There were important reasons to consider
reverting to the former Marysville and Pilchuck names; when the two schools were combined in the mid-70s promises were made to someday revive the Pilchuck name, mascot and colors. The Pilchuck charger might ride again under the M-G initials and green and gold may face off against the M-P red and white someday, but it was the color of money that doomed any tweaks to Marysville-Pilchucks current name.
Changes to athletic uniforms and equipment alone would have cost at least half a million dollars according to district officials, and then there would be other additional costs, including letterhead, fixtures and even changes to signs donated by past graduating classes. Kvangnes said the group of 25 community members were unanimous in voting to keep M-P the way it is.
The naming committee was also big on establishing a uniform format for the high schools, with Marysville as the common denominator. That fits with the other two high schools, the Marysville Arts & Technology High School and Marysville Alternative High School, according to Kvangnes. The committee includes past students and principals of both Marysville and Pilchuck high schools, and sentimentality gave way to the pragmatic desire to save money and reduce confusion. She said the lively discussion included five current students, two school board members and many others including John Garner, the principal of the first M-P class in 1976.
Kvangnes was a member of the last Pilchuck High School graduating class when the Marysville High School was moved and combined with the current M-P campus on 108th Street NE. Hard times during the Boeing bust of the early 70s led the district to save money by mixing the two schools together, although some people say a losing football team was the cue to create a larger pool of athletes.
She said it would be nice to revive some aspects of her alma mater, but not at the cost in money and disruption that a change would entail. Kvangnes noted that committee members included Marysville High School graduates and those who got their diplomas from the combined school and all were in agreement.
As architects begin drawings for the new $79 million high school, the district is mulling names for the Getchell Hill campus and several other properties. A new elementary school at Grove Street and 67th Avenue NE needs a name and Marysville Alternative High School wants to drop the A-word from its title. Realigning middle schools means Marysville Junior High cant use that name any more there is already a Marysville Middle School.
Marysville Junior High resides at the former Marysville High School location on State Avenue and hosts three smaller academies called Bear, Raven and Owl; those are being mulled along with others such as Totem. The junior high is the only eighth- and ninth-grade campus and the district is moving to a uniform sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade format to reduce the number of school changes required for some students. That will also provide a uniform ninth through 12th grade high school experience for students who now spend their freshman year at the junior high.
The committee will meet for what Kvangnes hopes will be the last time on Tuesday Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the board room at district headquarters at 4220 80th St. NE in Marysville. The public is welcome to attend and suggestions can be made to the district at that address or by calling the district at 360-653-7058.
Final decisions are forwarded to the school board for approval.

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