The Red Clay Consolidated School District committee created to find a name for new school to be built off Graves Road recommended naming the Hockessin school after longtime Red Clay educator William 'Buzzy' Cooke.
Cook, who was known for his personable style as an educator, spent the last 10 years of his career as principal of Brandywine Springs School. The name William Cooke Jr. Elementary School beat out two others that fit the criteria set out by the committee – Alice Coleman Elementary and Piedmont Elementary, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ted Amman said at the Red Clay Board of Education meeting held Wednesday night at Brandywine Springs School. Two more names did not make the cut – Joe Biden Elementary, because he would have had to leave office, and Graves Road Elementary, he said.
Per board policy, the committee was set up to help the school district find a new name for the school, which would house kindergarten through eighth grade. Red Clay administrator Irene Hills, Debbie Brady, teacher Donna Hoosier, parent Jen Walters and Red Clay school board member Kenneth Rivera comprised the committee.
Those attending Red Clay Board of Education's meeting Wednesday night at Brandywine Springs applauded when Amman announced the name proposal.
The Red Clay board will vote on the name for the new Hockessin school at its April 17 meeting.
Amman said residents could give input on the name at the district's website
Red Clay residents voted 6,675 to 5,398 to approve the new school off Graves Road as part of a $117 million capital construction referendum held in February 2012. That referendum authorized 20-year bonds to be sold by the state on behalf of Red Clay, which would then pay off those bonds as part of the tax rate for district residents. The bonds would pay for 40 percent of construction costs while 60 percent would come from the annual bond bill passed by the Delaware General Assembly.
The average Red Clay home, with a value assessed at roughly $75,000,would pay an average annual increase of $44.08 as a result.