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Central H.S. in DeWitt determined to end identity crisis

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Central High School in DeWitt is in the process of resolving a long-time confusion over the school's name, once and for all.

The school's official name is Central High School from the Central Community School District of Clinton County. The district was created in 1961 when DeWitt, Grand Mound, Low Moor, and Welton consolidated.

The name has caused confusion over the years. That confusion came to a head at this year's state basketball tournament, when the boys team was identified on the scoreboards as C. Clinton.

"My son was at the game and he was very upset when it came across," said DeWitt resident Angie Vandevoort, "Because everywhere they go everybody thinks they're Clinton and they're not.

"They're DeWitt," Vandevoort said.

Superintendent Dan Peterson said the school board has come up with a list of possible names to go by, and will start meeting about an official name in May.


  • Janice Fisher

    The Central Clinton school district is comprised of the communities of DeWitt, Grand Mound, Low Moor, and Welton. The outlying areas need to be acknowledged in some way. During the newscast, why were no residents of these towns interviewed? I’ve heard others who live in these areas (as do I) say that they would be okay with “Central DeWitt.” Please consider the feelings of all of the residents of the district when this decision is made.

  • Jerry

    Central DeWitt implies that there is a West and North DeWitt (like Davenport). I don’t think the name needs to encompass the surrounding areas any more than Maquoketa does (Delmar, Elwood, Canton, Zwingle). How does “Central DeWitt” honor the surrounding areas? I think that DeWitt should not care about the other 15% of population of these little one-horse towns and should just go with “DeWitt.”

  • Janice

    Then go with “Central of DeWitt.” A resident of the district pointed out several years ago that never is North Scott referred to as the “Eldridge Lancers,” nor is Northeast referred to as the “Goose Lake Rebels.” I would add that North Cedar is never referred to as the “Stanwood Knights.” Why should this district then be known as the “DeWitt Sabers?” DeWitt shouldn’t care about the other 15% of these little one-horse towns? They care about our tax dollars.

  • Tom

    For all of the people who were upset about it saying C. Clinton. That is how the people from the smaller communities feel when the district is even considering calling it Central DeWitt. Look at all the other schools that don’t have a city name. Easton Valley, North Scott, Riverbend to name a few.

  • Janice

    I agree with you, Tom, and would prefer that the district be referred to simply as “Central.” I’m just saying that I have heard other residents say that “Central DeWitt” would be far more acceptable than just “DeWitt” if a city name is to be included. For some it’s simply a question of semantics. For others it’s more.

  • Joe

    DeWitt Central High School, done, and you’re welcome!

    Apparently people in small towns have nothing else to worry about than the name of the high school, really?! I agree the old name was ridiculous and should be changed but this shouldn’t be that hard! The school is in DeWitt and the residents apparently have something against being tied to Clinton so using the county name is out. Nothing to get all bent out of shape over.

    • Tom

      apparently you didn’t read the article. it is the people of DeWitt that are making a big deal of the name. i’m a proud graduate of Central Community Schools.

  • Jane

    Where is the school located? I know it’s hard to believe this, but it’s located in DeWitt! Not in Grand Mound, Low Moor, or Welton.

    The definition of central is- of or forming the center. There for DeWitt is in center and it is surrounded by other towns. If there is a center, there are edges. So for whoever wants the surrounding towns to be recognized there you go.

    When I went to school there, the kids all called it DeWitt Central. My vote is for DeWitt Central High School.

  • Jerry

    DeWitt Central implies that there is a DeWitt East or South (like Davenport). If you take Clinton out of the name (which seems to be a consensus here) then the Central part of the name becomes meaningless.

    North Cedar, East Central and Northeast are all examples of geographic name in relation to the county. However, they are all 1) very small districts 2) comprised of a number of EQUALLY populated small towns that usually 3) all have school building in those towns.

    While you could make the case for North Scott being just “Eldridge” they CURRENTLY have students attending schools in Princeton, Donahue, Long Grove and Park View. All of DeWitt’s students go 100% to schools in DeWitt.

    When I went to school there we called it DeWitt. When I went to college and told people where I went to school, I said DeWitt. There are literally dozens of school districts that have the word “Central” in their name. There is only one DeWitt.

  • Tom

    Apparently as a student of Central Community Schools of Clinton County, you must not remember that there once was school buildings in the towns of Grand Mound, Low Moor, and Welton. Over the years, past school boards chose to take the school buildings out of the smaller communities to the disappointment to the citizens of these towns. Why do you think so many bond referendums failed in this school district? It’s because they lacked support from the small communities as they no longer felt part of the school district.

    In 1961, 4 communities came together to form a new consolidated school district. DeWitt did not consume the small school districts; all 4 school districts gave up their individual identity to create a new one. Why should DeWitt get their identity back? The name should reflect all of the communities involved.

    Central Community Schools of Clinton County has been the name of the school for over 50 years. Why? BECAUSE IT FITS

    Note to all graduates of Central Community Schools of Clinton County: Check your diploma…it doesn’t say DeWitt anywhere on it.

  • Jerry

    So we should keep a name from over half a century ago because a bunch of little towns who struggle to keep a population over 100 USED to have schools, like, 20 years ago? North Scott CURRENTLY has school buildings in all those communities.

    I remember when I went to school in Welton. They had to force families in DeWitt to send kids TO Welton FROM DeWitt because Ekstrand was overcrowded. Before that, entire grade levels in Welton had 12-15 kids total. I don’t think the school district “CHOSE to take the school buildings out of the smaller communities.” These building were 90 years+ old, non ADA compliant, full of asbestos, and, in the case of Grand Mound, parts of them were actually CONDEMNED. The school district actually hauled out modulars to GM so that they could have their school for a couple of years more. Mother nature, time, asbestos and the Americans with Disabilities Act “took” the buildings out of those towns. Can anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty really advocate that the district spend millions of dollars to construct new elementary schools in Low Moor and Welton?

    I went to Northern Iowa for college. It used to be the Iowa State Teacher’s College. As majors, demographics and students changed, so did the name. I don’t think that my grandmother’s diploma from Iowa State Teacher’s college makes it any less valid than my diploma from Central whatever. I promise that if you randomly asked folks who graduated in the last 30 years the exact name of the school on their diploma, less than half would know it says Central Community Schools of Clinton County. When less than half of your graduates know the name of your district, then it is time for a name change.

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