PALMETTO (WWSB) - One after another, the people of Parrish, and even some from surrounding communities, talked about their concerns, urging the Manatee County School Board Tuesday night to have the name ‘Parrish’ somewhere in the name of the new high school.
About six months ago the school board voted to name the new high school North River High School much to the disappointment of so many.
“We’ve got 2,900 plus signatures saying that we want Parrish High School. Then again we don’t want to take away from Palmetto because they’re asking the same thing that we’re asking," said Gretchen Fowler, President of the Parrish Civic Association. "So if it means adding something to Parrish to make it a joint effort and bring the community together and focus that is on the community, then we’re okay.”
In the end the school board voted 4 to 1 to name the school Parrish Community High School. The only no vote was Charlie Kennedy. Like Kennedy, Scott Hopes would have liked to have seen North River somewhere in the name along with Parrish but he still voted yes.
“I think they want to ensure that the legacy of the name of their community is maintained given all the growth,” said Hopes.
Some of the speakers included political figures from other communities who gave their input. There were some people who spoke in opposition to having Parrish in the name because the community was established by Crawford Parrish, a slave owner.
“It should stay North River High School, North River High School,” said one woman.
Most of the people who packed into the Bradenton Area Convention Center are happy with the end result.
“It’s going to be a matter of the camaraderie of coming together and remembering they went to Parrish Community High School, so I think it’s an amazing conclusion,” said Earl Cowdrey, a Palmetto resident.
The doors to the new Parrish Community High School will officially open this fall.