New School In Centerton To Be Called Bentonville West High School

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The Bentonville School District's planned second high school, in Centerton, will be called Bentonville West High School, the School Board decided Monday night.

Bentonville School Board members voted 5-2 to apply the name to the new high school, which administrators plan to build on Gamble Road in Centerton. Rebecca Powers and Brent Leas voted against the name.

The board also voted Wolverines as the school's mascot.

"It's not the most beautiful looking critter, so it's going to be fun to make it exciting," said school district spokeswoman Mary Ley. "And maybe we can get Hugh Jackman (who plays Wolverine in the X-Men series) to open the school. Who knows?"

Board members chose the school name from among three finalists they had narrowed down from a larger list. The other finalist names were Bentonville Alliance High School and Alliance High School. Board members chose not to consider the two names receiving the most votes from students and student leaders---Centerton High School and Kathy Murry High School.

Murry was the Fulbright Junior High principal who died suddenly in January at the age of 59.

Board member Rebecca Powers told 5NEWS before the vote that she felt the board acted inappropriately by throwing out the two names voted highest by the students themselves.

After board members narrowed down the name options to Bentonville West, Alliance and Bentonville Alliance, students voted Bentonville West as their top choice.

Supt. Michael Poore said the students made the right choice among the three finalists.

"Sometimes you think, will junior high students really be able to give you the data or information you want, and they did," Poore said. "You should always trust the voice of the kids. They are a great resource for us."

Administrators admitted during the naming process that there was a political divide between those who wanted the new school named Centerton High School and those wanting it to be called Bentonville West High School. The new high school will be built in Centerton, but about two-thirds of its students will come from Bentonville, depending on how the attendance zones for the schools are drawn, said Mary Ley, spokeswoman for the Bentonville School District.

Principals during the voting process chose Bentonville West High School as their top choice. Some students, student leaders and principals were allowed to vote in the process in order to guide the School Board in their choice. However, the vote was non-binding, and the final choice was to be made by the School Board, Ley said.

Board member Matt Burgess said the new school will benefit from the Bentonville brand.

"When you've got the name out there out front, it's going to bring value to students who apply for colleges and scholarships, so it will always bring value," he said.

The School Board's vote for mascot lined up with the students' top choice. Students voted Wolverines as their favorite mascot, with 2,319 votes, while Jaguars came in second place with 1,822 votes. Diamond Cutters, Falcons and Barracudas rounded out the top five vote-getters among students.

Principals voted Bearcats as their top choice for mascot, with 15 votes. Bobcats narrowly came in second place, with 14 votes, while Bears, Jaguars and Chargers rounded out their top five.

Student leaders’ top vote-getter for mascot was the Mustangs, with 27 votes, while Jaguars trailed in second place, with 25 votes. Bearcats, Bobcats and Mavericks were also in their top five choices for mascot.


  • Sarah 1

    So? What was the point of voting on a favored name if the students had no input in the end?
    Doesn’t seem to meet the smell test.

  • J D

    Since it is so intensely political between the two names, then why not opt for a more neutral one to try and “calm the waters”? I agree that it was already decided. My daughter is in 7th grade. When students were allowed to “vote” the only options given were Bentonville West, Alliance and Bentonville Alliance. She and other students were upset. She raised her hand and asked her teacher about the other options. She was told those were the only three they had to choose from, even though Centerton High and Murray were the popular “votes” with the public. In the past couple of news stories about the board, it appears Ms. Powers is the only one actually representing the public.

  • Daryl

    Talk about damaging your political career, saying you are going to give the children a say so in naming the school and then taking it back because you don’t like what the children choose. You set the example tonight! Way to go. Yeah school board ! Sound like Mrs. Powers was correct about the bullying amongst the adults. Sorry to the children of the community who will be our young future leadership.

  • Lance

    Why not Central High? Should change the name of school district to Benton County School District to show Unity. are they going to name The other Bentonville East? Or keep a separation. Should take it to vote of school district voters. Quick decisions.

  • Daryl

    I say change the name to the old high school to Bentonville East High school if you want unity, then let’s be fair to all or are you going to say due to traditions it’s going to stay the same. Anything but Bentonville West or Bentonville Alliance would of been a success for the community. They will be revivals not matter what, it’s the natural course of the opposing schools. Rogers Mounties and Rogers Heritage are revivals, Springdale High and Springdale Har-ber are revivals, you can’t change that , you can’t minimize that. It is pride and culture that drives that train.

  • Arkajun

    The wolverine /ˈwʊlvəriːn/, Gulo gulo (Gulo is Latin for “glutton”), also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels).
    And none are found within a thousand miles of Arkansas.
    New school to be located in Centerton is named after another town and wii forever be known as Bentonville Junior. And, since Benton county taxpayers are footing the bill, why not Benton High. Benton Bobcats, Benton Eagles….but Bentonville West Wolverines….go figure.

  • DickSmith

    The board made the right decision here. If you named it Centerton High, it would be viewed as that “other” school. Burgess is right. Bentonville in the name will help with college admissions. In the end, if it is a good school, the name won’t matter. If it is a bad school, the name won’t save it.

    Not one peep about the fact that Mike Poore is recommending that the district end support for the Boys and Girl’s Club after school program? So the superintendent wants to take $100k in funding away from the kids that need it most, and no one cares? Yet he spent $1 million on a pool for our swim and dive teams?

    What about the $3 million budget shortfall due to Poore’s mismanagement of headcount?

  • Sally

    Sam Walton High School would have been better. Bentonville West is like a big signpost that says “Watch out Centerton! We’re planning on incorporating you in the near future!”

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