District 65 Superintendent Dr. Hardy Murphy and the Board have created a committee to examine and set forth a recommendation regarding changing the name of Haven Middle School to Morton Middle School. This would be done to honor Mayor Lorraine Morton, who is retiring in April. While I appreciate the dedication and time that Mayor Morton has given to District 65, Haven specifically, and to the City of Evanston, I do not want to see the name of the school changed. Otis Erastus Haven was a notable figure. Mr. Haven came to Evanston in 1873 as Superintendent of public schools. He is most famous for his campaign for the creation of a public high school so that all Evanston children could reach that level of education. At that time, there was no publicly funded higher education beyond the eighth grade. He served nine years as Superintendent and when he died suddenly in 1888, at the age of 39, the community responded by naming its newly built school building (located at Church and Sherman) in his honor. The school where it stands now opened in 1927 and retained his name at this new location. The idea to rename Haven originally stemmed from the suggestion that the soon-to-be renovated Library Media Center at Haven be named the Morton Media Center in the Mayor’s honor. At the present time, the majority of the print and reference collection is over 21 years old. During the summer of 2009, Haven is slated for a number of renovations by District 65. A parent-run library transformation committee was formed this fall to help spearhead a massive fundraising drive to supplement the District’s work. The goals include interior construction, the purchase of furniture and updating all print materials for start of the 2009 school year. Mr. Haven’s legacy should not be disregarded. The City of Evanston is over 150 years old. It is vital to me that century- old traditions and history are maintained. I feel it is paramount that our children learn to appreciate the long-standing history of their hometown. I feel strongly that we should keep the older pieces of our past intact while adding new ones to honor each generation.  I am also very concerned with the cost that comes with a change such as this. Dr. Murphy has stated that it would be less than $10,000. I do not feel that the District is in any position to be spending extra money at this time. There are many other issues at hand that deserve the thousands that would be spent on this renaming project. Why not use that money to buy books for the new library that is being mostly funded by the parents?  I am grateful for all Mayor Morton has done for my hometown, but I feel that there are other opportunities to name a structure in her honor. There are unnamed buildings in locations that would better serve the entire community, not just the north side. Please support us in saving the name and history of our school.  –Nicole Jacob Marks, Haven Middle School Parent