John Muir replaced by TRAILS in Outdoor School name

Students from the school formerly known as John Muir Outdoor School, now known as TRAILS Outdoor School, on one of the school's regular outdoor education outings. Ashland School District photo
June 15, 2022

Ashland School Board approves acronym for ‘Trust, Respect, Awareness, Interdependency, Leadership and Stewardship’

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news

After nearly a two-year process, an Ashland school named for John Muir has changed its name to TRAILS Outdoor School.

The new name, approved unanimously by Ashland School Board on June 13,  stands for Trust, Respect, Awareness, Interdependency, Leadership and Stewardship. The school was renamed to emphasize the importance of the attributes. The name was chosen from 50 suggestions from students, staff and parents.

“This name represents the importance of these attributes and celebrates trails as a

source of discovery and exploration,” said Jennifer Parks, principal of TRAILS Outdoor School, in a news release. “The name also aligns with the school mission for students

to deepen their connection with the Earth through integrity, the arts, stewardship and authentic learning experiences.”

The renaming process started in 2020 with a committee of 10 people. That led to gathering 50 names from students, staff and families. TRAILS Outdoor School selected TRAILS Outdoor School and Ashland Outdoor School as top choices for the school’s new name, with TRAILS the school’s top pick.

“There were a number of concerns by members of the school community who were familiar with the history of John Muir and some of his statements earlier in his life, reflecting around Native Americans specifically,” said Samuel Bogdanove, Ashland School District superintendent. 

Bogdonove said the district wanted to make sure all schools within the district are as inclusive as possible.

“One of the things that was really important to the board and to the district is that we really did our homework,” Bogdonove said, in the study leading up to the renaming process. “We really engaged with the community with the families of John Muir (Outdoord School) and the kids before moving forward with a decision as big as renaming.”      

Prior to the vote by the school board, school board member Rebecca Dyson shared her thoughts on the name of TRAILS, one of two names chosen as finalists.

“I love the name Ashland Outdoor School, but I think we already have AMS, we have AHS,” Dyson said.

“Whereas TRAILS is so unique and so fitting,” Dyson added.     

Bogdonove echoed Dyson’s comments.                    

“It’s a really well thought-out name so I think it’ll catch on pretty quickly,” Bogdonove said.

Reach Ashland.news Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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