Friday, October 14, 2011

Letter To The Editor.

NOTE: If you would like to send a letter to the editor, please email

Good Morning:

I am the mother of four children living in the city of Milton. I have one Senior
and one Freshman at Milton High School. I also have a sixth grader at Northwestern and a Fifth grader at Birmingham Falls.

My two younger children will attend the new high school and we are all very excited about that! We moved hereDecember of 2009 for the good schools and the culture of this lovely area. The decision to be here was long and hard for our
family considering the ages of our children. After two years of consideration we made the move mid-year when my oldest son was a sophomore . We have no regrets and love living in Milton!

Last Friday October 7th, I received two emails from friends informing me that
there were two names for the new school. I was blind sided as I have been very
vocal about my personal choice for the name since the redistricting meetings
last year. I wasn't emailed by anyone on the naming committee regarding my
preferences for names . Much to my surprise none of the naming committee choices
involved the name "Milton" in any way. This is hard for me to understand since
the majority of the new school's students live in the city of Milton and the
fact that the school itself is in fact located within the city limits of Milton.

I do believe that the Principal and the naming committee had good intentions and
were simply doing what they were told to do to the best of their abilities. They
are good hard working people trying to make the right call on this very important decision. However, I believe that the process itself is flawed to a
certain extent not the people on the committee .. I am here to challenge the process of naming a school in Fulton County. Why wouldn't the BOE want to have a name that represents the area? With all the modern technology today it would be
easy to email students that attend the middle schools and elementary schools
that will feed into the new school. Even a simple sign at the crossroad of the
new school....." Naming committee meeting this Tuesday at Hopewell Gym- ALL ARE WELCOME". I pass by that location many times during any given week. I would
have noticed and taken action. There are quite simply so many ways that a greater number of people could have been represented in this very important process. Instead, I find out after the fact, after the two names have been
submitted. I think we need a vote on this matter to resolve the issue . If the
names come back as Providence and Cambridge you will not read another email from

The name Milton has lots of equity. Please call the Georgia Universities,( Georgia Tech. and UGA) in the area and research for yourself the reputation that comes with the name "Milton" with regard to High School education and college acceptance. Why would we give up such excellent "branding" that this area has worked so hard to create and that would give this new school a jump start to future and potentially more rapid success? Doesn't a new school need every possible advantage?

I fail to see the reasoning behind the naming committee not at least offering one "Milton" option on the short list considering all the many conversations I've had with friends, neighbors and casual acquaintances that feel just as I do about keeping Milton. Why not put it on the list to have all sides equally represented? I'm amazed that the overwhelming feeling in my circles, (with four very active children) is to keep the name Milton somehow, yet the committee didn't have even one individual out of 29 to feel that way strongly enough to impose some balance on the list. The Milton Herald actually reported that out of all 24 members not even one put their stickers by any Milton name choice. I'm not sure how this could have happened with so much support for using Milton. Now I have been told it's too
late... how is that possible? Why not look at the boards naming policy. My hope is that possibly the next school to be named in Fulton will feel like they were taken into consideration. Its time to look at the policy with fresh eyes. There are so many people that feel strongly about this. Can't we at least be heard?

The rationale is flawed. The new school will not be a "wanna be" school, or a
school living in the shadow of Milton High School....but rather a force in and
of itself. Let the new school be empowered to develop into a reflection of our
area. To infer that the new school will live in the shadows is insulting to the
students that will go there next year. The school names that have been chosen
are nice names if you live in Massachusetts, England , or Rode Island, but we
live in a city that we are proud of called Milton and that name is not owned by
any school but rather the county that was here long before any schools were ever
built. There are numerous districts in our area that have similar names
...South Cobb, North Cobb, and many in Forsyth county that share the County
name. Why here do we find a problem with that concept? Once again let there be
vote on the name of our new school.

On a personal note, I have a son that is a freshman at Milton High School this
year. He is grandfathered and therefore has the ability to choose which school
he will attend next year. I want him to make the call so he can be happy about
his decision. I am trying not to influence him one way or the other. It will be a hard call for him. He likes where he is now and also likes the idea and
excitement of being in the first graduating class at the new school. He is a 14 year old boy who is very influenced by name, colors and mascot. He also feels strongly that his choices , and that of many of his friends, weren't considered. As much as I hate to admit it I know the name, color and mascot will make a difference to a child, I wish it didn't but I know better. He likes the name Milton. After all his parents had him move in the middle of seventh grade, (Kicking and screaming) to attend Milton High School one day....It's not
too late for that to still happen ....just Milton, slightly North.
I know how hard your job must be . It's impossible to make all parties happy and I respectfully thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincere blessings to you all,

Micah Thomas


Anonymous said...

Why are the residents of Milton (White Columns or near White Columns)upset that the new school won't have Milton in the name? Well for one, the entire school will be mostly comprised of students living in the city of Milton. And what about Milton HS? The kids going to MHS will come from Roswell and Alpharetta. So let's look at this, the FCBOE built the city of Milton a new high school in order to move most of Milton kids out of MHS to alleviate what? To alleviate the need for more room in MHS for students from what cities? NOT Milton! In the entire redistricting process which city experienced the greatest movement of children? That was the plan all along obviously. At the end of the day, the new school was put in Milton, not because Milton was overflowing with chldren and we needed another school, NO. It was built in Milton to make room in MHS for primarily more Alpharetta students and students from Roswell. We wouldn't even be having a naming controversy had the people so passionate in getting the Milton name in the new high school gotten on the band wagon for holding the feet of the FCBOE to the fire that Milton did not need another high school, Alpharetta DID!!! This entire naming issue proves this to be true. The big bad bully on the block is the FCBOE and they did what they wanted anyway in building a school out here. Even the City of Milton and our City Council representatives did nothing to address the fact that Milton did not need another high school. They barely spoke up on how it was going to screw up our traffic out here. Guess what, the FCBOE doesn't pay property taxes. So they continue to grab up huge parcels of land real cheap to use for schools out here when Milton population numbers don't support it today or in near future either. They just keep shifting students from Alpharetta and Roswell more and more into Milton.Why? Because they can. Because the land is less expensive, because our City Council won't even object.

Good letter to the Editor. At the end of the day, all of us need to climb on board with others, sooner, not after the fact, and not only when it just affects yourself such as those in White Columns who were districted out of MHS. Had these parents who are unhappy with the naming of the school process not been redistricted out of MHS, would all this controversy even be happening now over the name? Ask yourself.

Neighbor would not be pinned against neighbor and made enemies for opposing opinions about the process had the FCBOE not built a school in a city where it wasn't justified.

Anonymous said...

Notice that Cobb, South Cobb, Gwinnett, Central Gwinnett, Forsyth, South Forsyth, all reflect COUNTIES.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully one day SOON, we will be Milton County and will finally be shed of Fulton County!

Anonymous said...

Once again, Milton High School WAS named after the original Milton County!

Anonymous said...

If we were still unincorporated Alpharetta, would it matter about the name of the new high school? Or would everyone want it to be called West or North Alpharetta High School?
It means NOTHING for the new high school to have Milton in its name!

Anonymous said...

If we were still Alpharetta, you are right, the name of the new school wouldn't matter at all. No one would be complaining it didn't have Milton in the name.

Anonymous said...

The original Milton site(1921)is in Alpharetta and was hijacked by politicians on their to creating Milton city and a principal whose first at the old site was to trash all the trophies. Their is nothing historic about the "knotoff" in Crabapple. A new schools administration and student body does not need to be hindered by being considered " Milton Light."

Anonymous said...

A plausible assumption for Cambridge and Providence being the standouts with votes is the method to which the vote was conducted. The "sticky dot" method is too visual of an influence. What I mean by that is once those first few voters placed their votes for Cambridge & Providence it was apparent who the early leaders were and folks did not want a "wasted vote"... so to speak at that point and would likely go with their second choice than having a vote possibly "stand alone". I'm not implying that all who voted for Cambridge and Providence felt this way, but I would guess that some did.

This is putting it in basic terms, but please read my analogy with what recently happened in my child's first grade class. It was Johnny Appleseed Day and we were did graphing after sampling Red, Golden Delicious and Green. In the classroom the children were handed the paper cutout of the apple they selected as their favorite. However, once in the hallway to see what all of the first graders collectively were choosing, I encountered some "flip-flopping". The kids noticed that "red" was the favorite and they wanted to switch to red to be part of the winning team. It's human nature at all ages... standing out is not something most gravitate towards... at the end of the day the kids wanted to know they were thinking along the same lines as most of their peers.

This committee did as they were instructed to, but more time and due diligence to reach the community for input would have been well received. We live in an area with huge parental support and a 20 year old board policy may work in some areas, but we are all quite vocal and passionate here and give a huge amount of support to our schools. The Board updates policies yearly (see your child's student handbook), so this policy should/could be revisited too.

Keep positive and remember we are all on the same team here.

Anonymous said...

Come on.....With names like Cambridge and Providence all your priveledged spoiled kids will get into Yale........instead of Auburn

Anonymous said...