New Delia school named, Delia School

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The name for Delia’s new K-12 school was discussed during the regular Prairie Land School Division (PLSD) board meeting on Tuesday, December 15, with the decision made to keep the original name--Delia School.

A week prior to the board meeting, PLSD held a virtual town hall meeting following community dissatisfaction at one of the proposed names for the new school.

“With a combination of information we gathered from the town hall meeting on Tuesday, December 8 and the survey we conducted online, the consensus at the Tuesday, December 15 board meeting was to keep the name as Delia School,” Shandele Battle, PLSD Ward 4 Subdivision 2 Delia Trustee, told the Mail.

Ray Martin, or R.J. Martin was suggested in honour of former Alberta NDP leader Ray Martin, who was born and raised in the village. Despite Martin’s connection to the community, his career in education, and his advocacy for a new school for the community, many were displeased with the name suggestion.

The outcry from the community prompted Battle to issue an apology letter, acknowledging there was no “nefarious, corrupt, or condescending” intent behind the name suggestion. Battle also noted, “the mistake was not having consultation with the community.”

Following Battle’s apology, a virtual town hall meeting was announced and PLSD heard several name suggestions from community members, including Delia Community School and Violet Barss School.

Battle moved to keep the name Delia School during the regular PLSD board meeting.

The motion was carried.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail