School officials explore the possibility of renaming Kent-Meridian

Kent-Meridian staff are exploring the idea of renaming the flagship high school with a modifier: international.

"That name denotes that we have an international mindedness," explained Principal Wade Barringer.

Barringer said that the proposed name change to Kent-Meridian International High School would not add or modify any of the school's existing programs. It would simply recognize traits and programs that the school already possesses.

Barringer and Amrinder Bains, International Baccalaureate coordinator, visited international schools in Seattle to see what the requirements were for a school to add the "international" denominator to its title. As it turns out, many of the requirements the school already met, such as having an international-focused program – met by the IB – or serving an international population.

"By name, K-M is just another high school," Barringer said. "This is recognizing and appreciating the population we serve."

The idea to rename the school is still in the most infant and exploratory phases, Barringer said. That's because of the sensitivity of the issue since many K-M alumni from as far back as the 1950s still live in Kent.

"Does it meet the needs of our current students, future students and alumni?" Barringer asked.

He expects that within the next two months K-M will have planned out several town hall-style meetings to allow the community to provide input. He realizes that renaming K-M might rattle some cages in the community but still believes that it would be a good idea in the long run.

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