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Board approves name for Dothan's new junior high school

Board approves name for Dothan's new junior high school

Dothan Prep

The Dothan Board of Education voted Monday to rename the Dothan High School building as Dothan Preparatory Academy. The facility will now serve middle school-aged students. The student bodies of Dothan High School and Northview High School will attend the former NHS facility on 431 North, to be renamed Dothan High School.

The iconic art-deco Dothan High School building is officially receiving a name change to Dothan Preparatory Academy. The tiger mascot and red, black and white colors will remain the same --for now.

The new name came from a strong recommendation from Dothan City School Superintendent Phyllis Edwards and next year’s junior high principal, Darius McKay, who was originally tasked with assignment.

Ultimately, the call came as a desire to re-brand the school for its new purpose.

“This is by design to bring back those who fled from us,” District 2 Board Member Franklin Jones said.

The motion passed 5-1 at a special Dothan City School board meeting Monday.

District 6 board member Chris Maddox was unconvinced by the members in favor; he voted against the name, instead preferring Dothan Junior High School.

“My mind hasn’t changed,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is the product that is generated.”

He believes the name change, colors, and mascot will create dissonance with the new Dothan High School, which will house the Wolves and will have cardinal, black and gold as its colors.

McKay’s decision to retain Dothan High School’s colors and mascot came from a cost-efficiency standpoint since the school would not have to spend much on athletic equipment, rebranding, and uniforms.

“Since the high school will spend a significant amount of money on those items, Dothan Prep Academy could save the district thousands of dollars during the first couple years of the consolidation,” McKay said. “Once the district’s financial outlook is more solid, Dothan Prep Academy could consider making the full branding, mascot, and colors transition.”

Edwards was pleased with the approval of the school name.

“The vision for the Dothan Preparatory Academy is to provide a school where the system provides math and writing, as well as other academic courses as well as begin the career technical introduction for the students to prepare them prior to attending the senior high school,” Edwards said earlier.

“The name is offered to also provide a forward thinking view or vision for a school that will be a standout academic and extra-curricular school to compete with the many private schools in the area, providing in-depth instruction and support prior to the students’ moving forward.”

During the board meeting, an emergency action was declared for the Head Start building on Powell Street in order to release funds of around $65,000 for repair and inform parents of a mandatory weeklong furlough for its students.

While Edwards referred to the cause of the action as a significant existing condition, she only referred to it as a mechanical issue that affects the entire facility.

While some work can be done over Spring Break, it will take another week to finish.

Edwards acknowledged that it was not ideal, but did not want to wait until the summer because of many other upgrade projects planned for district schools.

Facility Director Tim Holley was not immediately available for further explanation.

Other business:

> Before the public meeting, the board held a private session to listen to school employees who may have been unsatisfied with their placement. The media was not invited to attend.

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