Tonight’s Board of Education meeting includes an agenda item to discuss the idea of renaming Miller-Driscoll School. Some GOOD Morning Wilton readers, however, have said they want the name to stay as it is. The results of a survey we ran Monday shows that of the readers who answered the question, “Should Miller-Driscoll School be renamed?” the majority of respondents said, “No!”
In fact, readers said they prefer keeping the Miller-Driscoll name 3-to-1. Of the 360 readers who responded 279 don’t want any change. It’s important to note that the survey is not a scientific one, nor is it district-wide. However, it is still valuable feedback for the Board of Education to hear.
Miller-Driscoll used to be two separate schools, the Tilford W. Miller School and the Ina E. Driscoll School. They were united physically in 1990 and then administratively in 2010.
The idea for the name change was brought up during the renovation of Miller-Driscoll, with supporters suggesting that giving the newly refurbished school a new name might be considered a “fresh start” when renovation officially ends at the start of the 2017-18 school year, especially after the project had received criticism for funding concerns as well as safety issues that predated the renovation. It was suggested that a new name might help Wilton’s youngest learners connect better to the school, especially if they were unfamiliar with the history of the school or the people for whom the school was named.
History spoke loud for Bob and Carol Russell, two readers with prominent connection to the town, and they disagree with the idea of renaming the school. Bob, who literally wrote the book about Wilton’s history, and Carol, who is the town’s historian, got in touch with GOOD Morning Wilton to say so.
“We remember when in the mid-70s, Middle School East was renamed Cider Mill, and Middle School West was renamed Middlebrook. Certainly an improvement. Nobody remembers that Middlebrook was the name of the prominent local family who once owned the land under Middlebrook School. We never knew Mr. Miller or Miss Driscoll or Mr. Comstock, but those people were important Wilton educators and their names persist on a school and a former school. It would be sad for some of us to see those names disappear.”
Several readers suggested that the history behind the names could be a great first-day lesson for Miller-Driscoll students. One commented on GMW’s Facebook page, “Let’s teach the children and the community who Miller and Driscoll were and continue to honor them.”
Whether or not the Board of Education agrees remains to be seen tonight, when they discuss the issue at 7 p.m.. Tune in on Ch. 79, attend in person at the Board of Education professional library or watch live online.