Albany County School District No. 1 officials are considering renaming Laramie Junior High School and the old Deti Stadium, a move intended to reflect changes to the school’s student body and eliminate confusion stemming from Laramie’s two identically named stadiums.
In 2015, the ACSD No. 1 Board of Education voted unanimously to carry over the name Deti Stadium to the complex at the new Laramie High School on Boulder Drive, but the old stadium retained the same iconic name. That stadium, dedicated in 1962, was named after John Deti Sr., who coached LHS football from 1944-76 — a position his son, John Deti Jr., later had from 1977-2002.
The opening of the new LHS also affected other schools in the district. When ninth-graders began attending the new school in the fall — a change made possible by its increased facility size — LJHS transitioned from a grade 7-9 school to a grade 6-8 school.
“The state already approved the grade configuration, obviously, and they have to have the name changed, because everything’s attached to it — PAWS reports, etc.” ACSD No. 1 Superintendent Jubal Yennie said.
John Weigel, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and accountability, said the term “junior high” typically refers to a school with students in grades 7-9.
Weigel sits on a district naming committee consisting of several parents of current and future students, a certified staff member, a classified staff member and a student at the school. The group is scheduled to meet April 26 to select five names to bring forward to the School Board, which will make a decision on the school and stadium names during its regular meeting in May.
By Wednesday afternoon, the district had received about 95 online submissions from community members through its website.
“Laramie Middle School” was the most frequently submitted name for LJHS, followed by the school’s current name. Other suggestions included Gem City Middle School, Scout(s) Middle School, Meadowlark Middle School — a name inspired by the state bird, the Western meadowlark — and Mary Godat Bellamy Junior High School, named after the first woman in the Wyoming Legislature.
The most common suggestion for the stadium name was to keep it as it is, “Deti Stadium,” and the most popular alternatives were variations of that name, such as “Deti Jr. Stadium,” “Old Deti Stadium,” “Deti West” and “The New Deti Stadium.” Community members also proposed names such as “Gem City Park,” “Plainsmen Stadium, “Laramie Stadium,” “High Plains Stadium” and “Laramie Activity Field.”