Update: The new elementary school being built in north Austin now has a name: Dr. Janis Guerrero Thompson Elementary. The Austin Independent School District Board voted last night to approve the name.
Dr. Guerrero Thompson was a native Austinite who taught high school in AISD and later worked as the district’s Executive Director for Planning and Community Relations.
The public made the nominations for the name of the new school. Another popular suggestion was Jody Conradt Elementary—named after the longtime University of Texas at Austin women’s basketball coach.
The school board did not make a decision last night to change the rule that a person who is dead must have passed away at least 18 months prior to have something named in his or her honor.
You don’t have to be dead to have a school named after you, but if you are dead, you must have died at least 18 months ago. And that’s a bit of a sticking point this time.
One of the nominees is Sergeant Juan Navarro, a Lanier High School graduate who was killed in Afghanistan. But he was killed in July, less than 18 months ago, which makes him ineligible. At a board meeting last week, school district trustees said they might consider changing the rules to create an exception for military personnel.
“They are serving our country and they’re there to protect us," Trustee Cheryl Bradley said. "I see it as an honor and I believe that we should honor them in any way that we possibly can.”
The elementary school is at 102 Rundberg Lane between I-35 and Lamar Boulevard. It is scheduled to open next school year.