On September 9th, the Muscatine Community School District School Board (the Board) voted to change West Middle School’s name to Susan Clark Junior High School. The change will take effect for the 2020-2021 school year when the district moves to have one junior high school for seventh and eight grade students.
Susan Clark became the first African American student integrated into Iowa’s public schools after her father, Alexander Clark, won his case against the Muscatine School District in 1867.
In April, Muscatine Community School District’s (MCSD’s) naming committee put out a call for submissions. They accepted suggestions until May 15th. After the May 15th deadline passed, the naming committee identified the three most common recommendations. They had all MCSD middle school teachers vote for their preferred name. A majority voted for Muscatine Junior High School. The naming committee submitted this choice to Superintendent Jerry Riibe to recommend to the Board at their August 12th meeting.
At the June 10th and August 12th Board meetings, a group of citizens spoke about why they though the Board should choose Susan Clark Junior High School. After weighing what they heard, the Board voted to approve Susan Clark Junior High School as the name for the single combined junior high school.