RUSKIN — Tomato Tots, Cesar Chavez and Barack Obama are all on the list of potential names the Hillsborough County School Board could select Tuesday for the new elementary school in Ruskin.
Elementary School "A" is on East Shell Point Road, next to Lennard High School.
The public was allowed to submit names to the Hillsborough County School District for consideration, generating a list of more than 130 options. During Tuesday's meeting, board members might throw other potential names into the ring, spokeswoman Tanya Arja said.
Residents can advocate for certain names during the public comment period.
"We know just in the community, people are asking their friends or family to come down and support one name versus another," Arja said.
Active campaigns have been launched for at least three individuals: attorney Warren Hope Dawson, former Brandon and Armwood high principal Lyle Flagg and former School Board member Jack Lamb. Some in the community have lobbied for a name that reflects the area, such as South Shore Elementary.
The board will whittle the list after public comments. It might take several votes, Arja said, before one name emerges as the victor.
School Board policy says schools should be named for individuals who have rendered outstanding service to public education, such as U.S. presidents, School Board members, educators, outstanding citizens and geographic locations.
Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.