▶️ Bend’s new high school now has a name: Caldera

The Bend-La Pine Schools board on Tuesday selected Caldera as the name for the district’s newest high school, set to open in southeast Bend in fall 2021.

In February, the New High School Naming Committee announced three finalists: Caldera, Woodlands and Vista and recommended Caldera as the final choice.

“Naming this new school is an important step as we continue to build the school’s identity and culture,” said Chris Boyd, principal for the new school. “Our school will become a hub for the southeast Bend community and will be a welcoming place for each student.”

The committee said it shared this belief of a community member, “The name Caldera connects with a broad audience and thus transcends cultures. It is unique to Southeast Bend and the region uniting the larger attendance area we will serve, it conveys pride in our volcanic and human histories, and it evokes emotion as we prepare to welcome students and families into our new school community.”

The community was invited to suggest potential names for the school last fall through an online survey. At the time, the district said the results would “not be used as a consensus gathering or decision-making tool,” rather simply to get some ideas as to what the public was thinking about the potential name. It wasn’t a “vote” for a particular name.

The most popular suggestion at the time was to name the school after Robert Maxwell, a Central Oregon war hero and Medal of Honor recipient who died last May at the age of 98. A group of veterans attended the board meeting Tuesday to make one last plea to the board to consider naming the school after Maxwell.

“All I can say is that Bob has all of the qualifications to be a real role model, a hero, an inspiration for the students at that school,” Ted Lyster, a Band of Brothers member, said.

But board members decided against the name because of a district policy that prohibits naming a school after someone who has been deceased less than five years.

“The board values our veterans,” Julie Craig, the board’s co-chair, said. “Clearly Bob Maxwell was loved in this community and was a great man worth honoring. I’m hopeful we can discuss other opportunities in the future of how we could honor Bob in our district.”

The new high school is under construction at the corner of Knott Road and 15th Street in south Bend. It will be a two-story building with about 60 classrooms including several career and tech education classrooms; a 600-seat auditorium and a football stadium and other sports fields.

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