Help Name New Elementary School in Mission Valley!

Your Voice Counts: Help Name New Elementary School in Mission Valley!
Posted on 09/16/2021

As construction on a new elementary school in Mission Valley quickly progresses, the San Diego Unified School Names Committee has launched a community input process to select a name for the new elementary school.

Please review the list of names and their descriptions, then visit the school name survey found at this link to vote for up to three of your top choices

You can also scan the QR code (right) with your phone camera to vote. If you don’t  have a phone or computer, please visit the Eugene Brucker Education Center, located at 4100 Normal St., San Diego, CA, 92103 and visit the main lobby information desk. An iPad is available for your convenience. The Ed Center is open from 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.*  

The public voting period will close on Oct. 7 at 5:00 p.m. The names committee will convene in early October to review the community vote, select a final name, and formally recommend it to the Board of Education. The school will open to the public in Fall 2022.

*Holiday and Department hours vary. Please wear a mask when entering the lobby.

Proposed Names for New School

Please note: names marked with an asterisk (*) will be added to a standing list for future school and facility naming considerations.

Quarry Falls Elementary

This name links the school to the property’s history. Area used to be a quarry owned by the Grant family. Original proposal for area’s development called for the development of Quarry Falls community, which went on to become Civita.

River Elementary

River Elementary is a neutral name that connotes the area as a recreational spot, linking the school to the area. The name conjures up thoughts of leisurely walks, bike rides, or other recreational activities with a scenic view of the San Diego River.

Tony Gwynn Elementary*

Nicknamed “Mr. Padre,” Tony Gwynn was a professional baseball right fielder who played 20 seasons for the San Diego Padres. Before his Padres career, Gwynn attended San Diego State University (SDSU), where he played baseball and basketball for the Aztecs. After his Major League Baseball (MLB) retirement in 2001, Gwynn was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame and came back to SDSU to serve as the head baseball coach, where he stayed until his death in 2014.

Off the field, Gwynn and his wife, Alicia, founded the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation to serve underprivileged children. His philanthropy and community service earned him numerous awards, notably the coveted “Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award” for both his time as an athlete and his devotion to the community.

Nipaquay Elementary

The Kumeyaay village of Nipawai/Nipaquai existed in current-day Mission Valley near the San Diego River. A nexus for expansive trade routes, this village was an important gathering point of cultural exchange and a thriving venue for exchange of goods. One small step toward restorative justice, this name recognizes the indigenous people of the land the school is being built on.

Dolores Huerta Elementary*

A 2012 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a 2013 California Hall of Fame inductee, Dolores Huerta dedicated her life to the betterment of farm workers. Huerta founded the Agricultural Workers Association and worked alongside César E. Chávez to launch the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. In 1977, Huerta worked alongside disability activists for better working conditions and played a major role in the founding and development of the United Domestic Workers of America – the first domestic workers union in American labor history and the third union in the country to be founded by people of color. Huerta also worked alongside Gloria Steinem to challenge gender discrimination within the farm workers’ movement.

Now 91, Huerta continues to work, developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.

James Baldwin Elementary*

The grandson of a slave, James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924. For many, Baldwin’s clarion call for human equality – in the essays of Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name and The Fire Next Time – became an early and essential voice in the civil rights movement. Though at times criticized for his pacifist stance, Baldwin remained an important figure in that struggle throughout the 1960s.

Through much of his life, Baldwin remained a constant advocate for universal love and brotherhood. During the last ten years of his life, he produced a number of important works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He also turned to teaching as a new way of connecting with the young.

By 1987, when he died of stomach cancer at age 63, James Baldwin had become one of the most important and vocal advocates for equality. From Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) to The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), James Baldwin created works of literary beauty and depth that will remain essential parts of the American canon.

Roberto R. Alvarez Elementary*

Deemed the Mexican American Foundation’s “Man of the Year” in 1983, La Mesa native Don Roberto Ricardo Alvarez - whose family came from Baja California - overcame adversity in the 1930s, becoming the face of desegregation in Lemon Grove and the County of San Diego. At age 12, Alvarez was selected as the plaintiff in what is now a landmark Superior Court case to desegregate the Lemon Grove School District. The class-action lawsuit followed the segregation of Mexican students to a two-room wooden building (stable) that was separate from the main school building. The suit ultimately ended segregation within the school district and in the County of San Diego.

Alvarez graduated from Grossmont High School and joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving in Japan. During his time in the Navy, Alvarez learned accounting, bookkeeping and the skills to deal with the purchasing, storing and distribution of supplies. When the war ended, Alvarez went into business for himself, founding “Coast Citrus Distributors Inc.” His business yielded sales of more than $100 million and was ranked 12th in the U.S. for income among Hispanic owned businesses.

Outside of business and advocacy, Alvarez provided support to the YMCA, Little League and local public schools.

Sally Ride Elementary*

The first American woman and the first LGBT member to fly to space, Sally Ride joined NASA as an astronaut in 1977. She was one of six women to be chosen by NASA, flying as the first woman into space in 1983 and again in 1984. During her time in space, Ride worked the robotic arm to help put satellites into space.

Ride left NASA in 1987 to become a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the California Space Institute. During her time as a professor, Ride came up with the idea for NASA’s EarthKam project – a project that allows students to take pictures of Earth using a camera on the International Space Station. She was also president and CEO of Sally Ride Science to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to promote STEM literacy. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003 and passed away in 2012.

Michelle Obama Elementary*

Michelle Obama is a mother, writer and the wife of the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama. Upon Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency, Michelle Obama became the first Black First Lady in the United States. A celebrated first lady, Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move, Joining Forces, Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn initiatives, supporting family health, military families, higher education, and international education for young girls, respectively.

Prior to her role as first lady, she was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker. Michelle attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to study law at Harvard Law School, where she took part in demonstrations calling for the enrollment and hiring of more minority students and professors. She was awarded her J.D. in 1988.