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New elementary school gets nature-inspired name

Rockford — Edgerton Trails will be the name of the district’s new elementary building, set to open in August 2024 in the northwest corner of the district. The Board of Education approved the new name at its June 12 board meeting after the district’s administration narrowed potential names from 250 options solicited from the public and elementary school students. 

Shannon Oullette, current principal at Belmont Elementary, will be Edgerton Trail’s first principal

Shannon Oullette, who was introduced at the board meeting as Edgerton Trails Elementary’s first principal, said third-graders were asked to submit names for the new school because they will be in fifth grade when their new school opens, and thus have “skin in the game.” 

The students suggested names that ranged from the silly “Hackysack Elementary” to those inspired by the nature-themed names used for other elementary schools in Rockford. 

“We gave them some parameters around how we name buildings and they were pretty spot on. A lot of nature themes like ‘Willow Trails,’” Oullette said. 

The nature theme fits, Oullette said, because the new school is situated on acreage that includes trails and ponds, and will have some nature-inspired decor and elements inside the school. 

“This is the gift the property gave us, and we’ve got to embrace that gift,” she said. 

The name “Edgerton” kept rising to the top of the list in part because at one time there was an Edgerton Elementary School in the Rockford area, Oullette said. The “Trails” part of the name won out because the words “View,” “Ridge” and “Wood” are already used at other schools in Rockford, and because at some point there was a school building with the name “Sheridan Trails,” at the location of the district’s administration building.

Oullette will remain principal at Belmont Elementary until her new post at Edgerton Trails begins in summer 2024. The long-time educator is a former district student.  

Edgerton Trails is still under construction and is being paid for with bond monies approved by voters in 2019. The location is on the west side of US Highway-131 on Edgerton Avenue NE near Saddle Ridge Drive. 

Read More from Rockford: 
Ballot proposal asks for more funds at a lower tax rate
Bond request passes in Rockford

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Allison Poosawtsee
Allison Poosawtsee
Allison Poosawtsee is a reporter covering Rockford Public Schools and Kent City Community Schools. She has spent 15+ years working and writing in the education context, first for her alma mater, Calvin University, and then for various businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Grand Rapids area. As a student journalist, she served as editor-in-chief of Calvin’s student newspaper where she garnered several Michigan Collegiate Press Association awards for her work. Allison is a proud parent of two Grand Rapids Public Schools scholars and a passionate advocate for the value of public education.

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