Board Seeks Public Input on Requested Renaming

Board Seeks Public Input on Requested Renaming
Posted on 05/28/2021

The Appleton Area School District’s Board of Education is seeking input from resident students, staff, families, and community members on the request to rename Lincoln Elementary School. The Board received a request from a Community committee to rename Lincoln Elementary School the Ronald C. Dunlap Elementary School - Home of the Lincoln Lions.

Following Board Policy 940 the Board is requesting feedback to fulfill step three of this policy. The process for gathering further community input/feedback on the request to rename Lincoln Elementary School was approved by the Board on May 24, 2021.

We encourage our community to share their input with the Board through a survey that opens at 8:00 AM on Friday, May 28 and closes at 4:00 PM on Friday, June 18. Only AASD residents will be allowed to provide input/feedback.

View the survey in English here.

Mus saib daim ntawv muaj lus nug ua kev soj ntsuam yog daim ua lus hmoob nyob ntawm nov (View the survey in Hmong here).

Vea la encuesta en Español aquí (View the survey in Spanish here).

We will be asking for input on five options:

  • Retain the name Lincoln Elementary School
  • Retain the name Lincoln Elementary School and recommend naming a different facility after Ronald C. Dunlap 
  • Rename the school Ronald C. Dunlap Elementary School – Home of the Lincoln Lions
  • Rename the school Ronald C. Dunlap Elementary School – Home of the Lincoln Lions and recommend naming a different facility after Abraham Lincoln
  • Rename the school Lincoln – Dunlap Elementary School

Each option will ask respondents to select from; Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree.

If respondents prefer to fill out a paper copy they are available at the AASD Leadership Center 131 E. Washington Street, Suite 1A Appleton, WI 54911. Responses must be returned to the Leadership Center by the close of the survey to be included.

We are also providing the option of having the survey mailed to residents by request. Please call (920) 832-6128 and request a mailed copy. Respondents are responsible for return postage. Responses must be received by the close of the survey to be included.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Greg Hartjes, Chief Financial Officer, Appleton Area School District at [email protected].

Background and Resources

The Dunlap Memorial Steering Committee, a team made up of community members, City of Appleton staff, and Appleton Area School District staff was formed to discuss how best to honor Ron Dunlap’s legacy after his death in 2019. Throughout the planning process, community members, former students, families, and staff have shared many examples of how Ron has positively impacted this community and the lives of everyone who knew him. Ron helped to pave the way for diversity and inclusion efforts, not only in the school environment but in our community and state as well. 

For thirty-six years, Ron’s professional life was devoted to education. For sixteen of those years, he served as the Principal of Lincoln Elementary School. During his sixteen years, he exemplified our District’s motto of “Every Student, Every Day.” The profound impact Ron had on his students carried with them long after they left Lincoln Elementary, and his commitment to showing “Dignity and Respect” to all was evident in everything he did. 

Following his time as principal at Lincoln, Ron served as the District’s first Coordinator of Minority Services. Ron was active in countless community activities, including board of director positions with Appleton Public Library, Wisconsin Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (WASCD), Goodwill Industries, the YMCA, and Wisconsin PTA. Other community involvement and accolades include the Unity in Diversity Award, Outstanding Community Leadership Award by the Rotary Club of Appleton, the first recipient of the Diversity Award given at the City and AASD MLK event, Life Membership in the PTA, Heritage Award for Promoting Leadership, and Diversity in the Fox Valley Community, Needy Children’s Committee of the Community Foundation, State Superintendent of Schools Task Force, Appleton Noon Lions Club, City of Appleton Police and Fire Commission, Wisconsin Public Radio Board of Directors, and Diversity Advisory Committee at Fox Valley Technical College.

Ron continued his community advocacy through his involvement in African Heritage, Inc. He also served on an advisory committee that worked with the City of Appleton's diversity coordinator when it was first created as a position within the police department.

The Dunlap Memorial Steering Committee strongly believes that renaming Lincoln Elementary School to the Ronald C. Dunlap Elementary School, Home of the Lincoln Lions, will not only honor a great person, respected educational and community leader, volunteer, mentor, and role model, but also carry his message of dignity and respect through generations of future students, families, staff, and community members.

Item of Information presented to the Board on May 14, 2021.
Previous survey responses submitted between February 11-19, 2021
AASD website posting from February 11, 2021
Board Policy 940