EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Robert E. Lee Elementary School will now be known as Sunrise Mountain Elementary.
EPISD Trustees voted unanimously today to rename the Northeast school effective immediately after several weeks of input from the public that included name suggestions from community members and a vetting process by a committee of stakeholders.
“This community deserves a name that reflects the values and vision of the children that live there,” said Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera. “Sunrise Mountain is a wonderful name that brings to mind the promise of a bright future.”
Trustees moved to rename the school earlier this summer after concerns that the name Robert E. Lee, the former commander of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, did not conform with the values of inclusivity embraced by the District.
A committee made up of parents, educators and neighbors reviewed more than 50 name suggestions submitted by the public and narrowed it down to three options for Board consideration: Sunrise Mountain, former UTEP President Diana Natalicio and former EPISD educator Joseph Anderson.
The committee’s recommendation was to name the school Sunrise Mountain.
“This neighborhood is known as Sunrise and we have a perfect view of the Mountain. We thought going with a name that celebrated these two things was best,” said Terry Montes, the school’s principal. “We know our students will love the name.”
Sunrise Mountain Elementary will retain the Lions mascot and the black and blue colors.