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Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

More than 280 names proposed for consolidated Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district

By Danielle Arndt

The list of 285 proposed names submitted for the Ypsilanti-Willow Run consolidated school district must be whittled down to one by Feb. 4.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District began fielding ideas from the community on what to name the merging districts in late December. The deadline to submit a name was Tuesday.

WISD spokeswoman Emma Jackson said of the suggestions, 217 were non-duplicate names.


The Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts are merging into one. The districts' high schools are shown above, with Willow Run on the left. file photos

The submissions included Arsenal of Democracy Community Schools, Depot Town Community Schools, Eastlawn Geddes School District, Greater Horizons School District, Washtenaw Progressive and Discovery Grove.

There were several submissions that referenced the Huron River, which passes through the heart of Ypsilanti, as well as Ford Lake.

Dozens more attempted to combine the two individual school systems' names, such as: YpsiRun School District, Willypsi Schools, Wipsig Run and Willowlanti.

The two financially struggling school districts are being combined after voters in the November election approved a proposal to consolidate Ypsilanti and Willow Run.

Name suggestions for the new district were divided into categories: community, geography, names of people, future expectations, local history, points of pride and miscellaneous.

Ypsilanti United Schools and Eastern Washtenaw Community Schools were favored options Wednesday night during a forum to discuss the suggested names, according to a WEMU report.

Other names that drew interest at the forum included Ypsilanti Community Schools and Ypsilanti Liberated Schools, a nod to the B-24 Liberator that was built at the Willow Run Bomber Plant during World War II, the station reported.

A second forum to discuss the proposed names is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Willow Run Intermediate Learning Center, 235 Spencer Lane.

Jackson said the initial idea was to develop a list of the top 10 names to pass along to a naming committee, comprised of school officials and community members. But it could end up being six, seven or even 12 names that are submitted to the committee for consideration, she said.

The committee is expected to make a formal recommendation of one name to the joint Board of Education on Feb. 4.

Some suggestions can be eliminated from the list of 217 unique names immediately for being a little silly but sweet, such as Flower School. Jackson said this submission, and a few others, came from young students in the two districts.

“So it’s great that they participated in the process,” she said.

  • View the list and tell us your favorites and least favorites in the comments below.

News producer Cindy Heflin contributed to this report.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

Where does the money come for these forums? Please keep the name simple and keep the geography in it so people know the district's location. Then let's move forward with the more inportant issues.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

From an old Flyer ... my vote to name the new district would be Washtenaw Consolidated.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

This is a nice little diversion in the process, a way to get people excited and all. But I think alot of us would prefer to find out if the teachers are going to be retained, what buildings are going to be closed, etc.. School pride through mascots and names is great and all, but I would prefer to have them work on the actual school district itself. As another poster stated, put it up for some kind of election (online or whatever) and then be done with it and get to actually building the school district.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

Put it on a ballot so the voters can vote on it in a special election come in May? Otherwise, Ypsilanti Consolidated is the best choice by far.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

It's in Ypsilanti and it's a consolidated school district. Ypsilanti Consolidated makes way too much sense.

Dan r OBryan

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

two broke schools


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

Why not honor those who have attended these schools? Name it Willow Run-Ypsilanti Schools or Ypsilanti-Willow Run Schools. If there is an issue with what name should come first simply go by alphabetical order. Believe it or not some of us are actually proud of our former schools no matter what their financial issues may be. There is history and school pride tied to each district, so let the names remain by blending them equally.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

For simplicity's sake, I would favor something like Ypsilanti Area Schools or Ypsilanti Consolidated Schools or perhaps even Eastern Washtenaw Area Schools, etc. Just on the basis that if Lincoln is every brought into the consolidation, then it won't need to be renamed.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

Eastern Washtenaw Area Schools. That's an excellent name.

In doubt

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Neither Ypsi or Willow Run should be in the name, because that opens the door to argue which will come first.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Ypsi Run is very cool and unique, and would get my vote.

Ben Freed

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

I like the Elijah McCoy Consolidated name. I've always been a fan of tipping the hat to great individuals who perhaps have not gotten their due.

Pete Cunningham

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

I think the two most logical suggestions are the Flying Laua School and Arsenal of Democracy Community Schools. I think the three names with misspellings (Readin Magic, Readin Venture, Readin Village, Readin Willow) will have the toughest time gettin board approval. You know, it bein a school and all.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

Yeah, and if they count like you too, we'll be in real trouble.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

What's wrong with Ypsilanti-Willow Run School District?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:03 p.m.

Seems pretty simple to me.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

All these forums over a name? What a ridiculous waste of time and resources. It seems like this sort of excess and poor decision-making is what got the school districts in this position in the first place! As I thought, combined school districts = more of the same, just bigger.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

Despite my criticism with this process, the new name of this combined school district IS important, is NEWS and DESERVES a public discussion; which it appears the appointed school board is willing to review. CW, there are plenty of Alumni including myself, that care what this consolidated school district will be finally named. In this case, I support the Board making this information public on Ann, and allowing the public-at-large some input.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

For many children the school is the center of their community. It is where they learn, meet their friends, and participate in social and athletic activities. It is often part of their identity. A name is important in helping with that identity. It is worth the investment. Just wait until the discussions of school mascot, song, colors, etc. begin. That will be a bigger deal.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

If not allowing for public discussion, all heck would break loose for not having a say in it.