Pauls Valley might have a new school but another one will soon get a brand new name.
Any day now the signage is expected to arrive and Lee Elementary will officially be known as Pauls Valley Intermediate School.
Both Principal Angela Green and Superintendent Mike Martin say the change is being made simply as a way to get Pauls Valley up front and center with the name.
“I started thinking about this last year,” Green said about the name change for the local school housing fourth through sixth grade.
“We were getting calls from people who thought there were two separate elementary schools. They thought we just had another option for the same grades.
“Also we wanted to be a part of the Pauls Valley district in name. We want to have Pauls Valley in the front of the name.”
Green is referring to the names of all the other local schools, such as the new Pauls Valley Elementary School, Pauls Valley Junior High and Pauls Valley High School.
She stresses the name change is not being done to be politically correct or to disrespect the history of Pauls Valley's schools.
Signs with the new name, compliment of the local First United Bank, will soon be placed near the passing U.S. Highway 77 and above the front of the school’s entrance.
“There’s a lot of excitement over this, both with the staff and the students,” Green adds.
When word got out about the plans Martin said he got a phone call late last week from a media representative wondering if the change was being made because the school might be named after a Confederacy general back in the 19th century Civil War.
“I had media call me and ask if we changed the name because of Robert E. Lee,” he said.
“That never really came into the conversation. No, we weren’t getting rid of it for that reason.”
In fact, Martin said he got a similar call during his first year as Pauls Valley’s school superintendent.
In that call years ago the caller was wondering about the names of Jefferson Early Learning Center and Jackson and Lee elementary schools.
“My first year here I got a call from someone from Atlanta who asked if our schools were named after generals. I told them no, they’re named after movie stars like George Jefferson, Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee,” Martin said jokingly.
“That seemed to do it because they didn’t call back.”
With a more serious tone, Martin echoed Green’s comments as the new name is being done because it just “flows” better with all the other local schools.
He adds the new name will be official when the signage is completed and in place.