Building-naming policy before board for approval

Co-workers of Ruth Aberasturi, who retired from the Carson City School District after 37 years in May, want to name the student-services building in her honor.

As the former director of student-support services, Aberasturi guided thousands of children in their special-education needs over the years.

"She's upheld those rights to the point where there's never been a due-process procedure against the Carson City School District," said co-worker and school psychologist Tony DelVecchio.

The school board will look at a policy Tuesday night that establishes guidelines for naming buildings. The policy states that a building cannot be named after a former employee for the school district until three years have passed since the worker's retirement.

And if the person begins consulting, as Aberasturi has said she will do, then the naming can only take three years from the end of that date.

DelVecchio hopes the board will grandfather in Aberasturi or include an exception for outstanding cases.

"She's a pioneer," he said. "She has been a pioneer in all of this stuff. She's very quiet about it."

District Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said the decision about approving the proposed policy and considerations about grandfathering in Aberasturi are the board's sphere.

"This would become the policy of the district, and people would have to abide by it," she said. "The thing is that the district has never had a policy. Many districts do."

Over the past year, Pierczynski received several requests from people wanting to name buildings or portions of buildings after people, she said. Under the proposed policy, a formal application would be made to a committee.

"I think when we have requests for the naming of a building or part of buildings that, yes, we should have a policy in the district about how we're going to do that because it's important, and we don't want it done haphazardly," she said.

DelVecchio will present a petition to the board Tuesday night seeking to put Aberasturi's name on the building. During her service, he said, the district never had a due-process hearing brought against it - something that has recently cost other districts, like Washoe County, about $200,000 annually.

"It's her personal relationships," DelVecchio explained. "She knows all the kids with serious problems by name."

Aberasturi, who retired at 73, started the New Horizons program to help pregnant teen mothers 15 years ago. More recently, she championed the rights of inclusion of special-education students, and this fall at Carson High some will attend regular courses.

Aberasturi was also responsible for the remodeling of the student-support services building.

"Ruth had a lot to do with design and paying for it out of her budget," DelVecchio said.

The building needs a name, he said, because people refer to it by several, including the Martha Gleason building and the old Bray school.

"(Aberasturi's) a pioneer," said DelVecchio. "She's done a superb job, and she's exemplary for the state of Nevada. They look to this program."

When writing the policy, Pierczynski called several of the larger school districts in the state. The first draft of the policy was presented at the board's Aug. 2 meeting.

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.

If You Go

What: Carson City School Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.


To sign the petition to have the special support-services building named after former department director Ruth Aberasturi, call Tony DelVecchio at 283-2350. The item is toward the end of the board's agenda.

What's in a name?

Proposed building-naming policy:

• Buildings can be named after district employees or residents who have made significant contributions to Carson City education.

• High schools are not named for individuals.

• Building names will not be considered if there is already a name for the facility.

• Names of elected officials will not be considered while they are still in office.

• Names of district employees will only be considered three years after they have left the district or three years since they last worked in a consulting position.


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