Capistrano Unified School District. File photo
Capistrano Unified School District. File photo

By Brian Park

The Capistrano Unified School District is considering several names for a new K-8 school that will be built in the Rancho Mission Viejo development.

CUSD trustees held a brief discussion and offered up their suggestions on Wednesday, January 8.

Trustee Anna Bryson suggested the name “Gabrielino,” after the native people that inhabited the location of the future school.

Trustee Amy Hanacek suggested “Gavilan,” the Spanish word for the sparrowhawk. Gavilan is also the name of a gated senior community within Rancho Mission Viejo’s first village, Sendero. Hanacek said the name reflected the ranch’s dedication to preserving its open space. She also suggested “Sycamore.”

Leading up to the meeting, Trustee Jim Reardon suggested naming the school after Richard J. O’Neill, a member of the family that has owned and managed the ranch’s land since 1882. However, Trustee Gary Pritchard said the family had asked the district to consider another family member, Marguerite “Daisy” O’Neill. Pritchard noted that an elementary school in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District already bore her name.

The board voted unanimously to continue the discussion to March to allow trustees and district staff more time to consider and research potential names.

Bryson recommended staff compile background information on the suggested names.

In November, the district and the developer of Rancho Mission Viejo reached an agreement to build the school in the second phase of the community, known as Esencia.

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