Hermiston School District has narrowed its finalists for a new elementary school on Theater Lane down to three options, and is asking the public to help them choose between the three names: Artemisa Elementary School, Loma Vista Elementary School or La Senda Elementary School.

The survey can be accessed until Aug. 28 at surveymonkey.com/r/ElemSchoolName.

Superintendent Tricia Mooney told the school board Aug. 10 that a previous survey about what people wanted to see showed that 61% of participants thought the school should be named for a geographical feature, similar to the district’s other five elementary schools. The district also heard feedback that the name should be representative of the district’s increasingly diverse student body, which is why the final three names are in Spanish.

Artemisa means sagebrush in Spanish, while Loma Vista is roughly translated to “hill view” and La Senda means “the path.”

When the options were first presented to the board, the first option was Artemisa Valley Elementary School, but board members disliked the mixture of valley, an English word, with artemisa in Spanish. There was concern about people being able to pronounce artemisa, but some board members also pointed out that people have learned to pronounce Armand Larive Middle School.

Board chairwoman Karen Sherman said she particularly liked the message of La Senda, or “the path,” that goes beyond just a description of a geographical feature.

Later in the evening, when Mooney passed along the three names to the Hermiston City Council, councilor Roy Barron told Mooney he wished she could see how much he was smiling under his mask at the idea of having a local school name in Spanish.

“My heart is full of joy,” he said.

The results of the survey will be presented to the school board for discussion at a Sept. 14 meeting.

The new elementary school, paid for by the school bond passed by the community in 2019, will be on East Theater Lane at Northeast 10th Street. Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2021.

Editor's note: The online version of this story has been updated to add a link to the survey now that it has been released.

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