Do not dishonor traditions of Paso Robles schools

March 5, 2024

Dr. Gene Miller


The members of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District seem to be set on dishonoring the educational traditions of Paso Robles. In recent board agendas, they have stated that they would review a name change for George H. Flamson due to changes in the district schools.

Tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.

Prior to 1996, the district had been a one middle school district. The first middle school was Glen Speck on Vine Street. When the high school moved to its current location on Niblick Road in 1981, a new middle school, George H. Flamson was created.

It remained the only middle school until 1996 when Daniel E. Lewis Middle School was created on the old Winifred Pifer Elementary site. All named after well deserving Paso Robles educators.

Why am I giving a history of Paso Robles Public Schools? Because I am fearful that the board will ignore tradition and rename George H. Flamson Middle School. If the rumors are true, the board is entertaining the idea that students from Daniel E. Lewis cannot adjust to moving from one school to another. I have heard a number of ideas for the renaming from naming it after another educator to a generic name.

Paso Robles has a rich history and our schools help new generations understand this by honoring educators by naming schools and buildings after them. Thousands of students have moved through George H. Flamson Middle School. The board would be dishonoring their past as well as George H. Flamson’s hard work in our community.

Why would the board permanently dishonor anyone to temporarily manage the feelings of a few.

I’m writing this letter as a Bearcat and asking the board to honor our Paso Robles Public Schools traditions and our shared past. Please continue to honor George Flamson and call the 24th Street site, George H. Flamson. To correct the new grades there, maybe George H. Flamson Junior High School or George H. Flamson Intermediate School.

At the same time, continue to honor Daniel E. Lewis and Georgia Brown. Name the new Dual Immersion School the Georgia Brown Dual Immersion Program at Daniel E. Lewis School. This way we still honor the educators that came before us and honor the new schools.

The last superintendent wanted to change Paso Robles. He wanted to throw away our traditions. Do not continue his work. Keep our traditions alive. Honor our educators, do not dishonor them.

Dr. Gene Miller is a member of the Bearcat Class of 1984. He taught at Paso Robles High School Tfrom 1993 through 2004. He then served as an administrator from 2004 through 2019.

Sign up for breaking news, alerts and updates with Cal Coast News Top Stories.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I am pretty sure we need to go back and re-evaluate all the political positions of Mr. Flamson, Ms. Brown, Pifer, etc. What did they think about immigration? Roe v Wade? We NEED TO KNOW how they voted!!!! And most importantly, What did they think about a downtown parking fee????

yes, why do boards like these waste money on non- issues…

Here in SLO, nearly all the K-6 schools were named for prominent state leaders in education and civics. While most are now closed, due to the large boomer generation growing up, the few schools remaining have been steadfast in keeping their “baptized” names.

But, case in point–Charles E. Teach school, and Pacheco Elementary, were named for famous state educators. Lately, that wasn’t good enough. The school district, swapped the names of each, to the other! Pacheco became Teach, and Teach…Pacheco1 Why? Who the hell knows? Tens of thousands of kids, from right after WWII, up until the name swap, could proudly claim Alumni status from one. The physical difference between the two is, nothing. All the post war K-6 schools shared a singular architecture design, as did the new (for then) SLO Jr. High (albeit larger, and with more amenities).

I have no idea what amount of taxes this required, and I am sure it was substantial, but swapping names did NOTHING for any academics being taught. Each school still teaches the exact same things, as they did before the name change.

Knowing how our local government bodies work, I’ve no doubt some grift, graft, bribery, and drugs were involved…

This is my recollection but I could be wrong.

Teach is for 4th – 6th graders with an advanced curriculum. 30 years ago they termed it “gifted and talented” and was determined by testing but now anyone in the district can go as long as they can keep up.

Pacheco is a Spanish immersion curriculum for Kindergarten – 6th. Anyone in the district can go and the teachers speak Spanish 90% of the time so kids are fluent within a year or so.

As Pacheco’s program grew and they needed more space, they moved into their current location near Throop Park and Teach moved into portable classrooms on the campus of Bishop’s Peak Elementary.

Several years ago, Teach relocated into portable classrooms at the current location on Slack, across from Cal Poly, where the permanent classrooms at the school are leased to San Luis Obispo Classical Academy or SLOCA. I’m not sure why the kids who attend school in the district don’t get to use the permanent classrooms in the school and are relegated to portable mobile home-type classrooms. The district must make good money from SLOCA.

Pacheco, Teach, and Bishop’s Peak (formerly Quintana. Another no reason name change), all share nearly identical architecture and building size. Since SLO no longer has the huge number of K-6 kids, in comparison to the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s (they closed the larger SLO junior high, to fill Laguna Jr High), How could they “run out of room”, and why change the names?

If they truly needed more classroom space, well, there’s a reason portable buildings are…portable.

In the 60’s, I was placed in the MGM program, for scoring over 98% on multiple intelligence tests….that, to this day, I have no recollection of ever taking! But I sure had fun getting out of class, and doing some cool stuff!

Ahhhh. The Mentally Gifted Minor program. What happened??

Please dont hate me Messkit!! Its just a joke. I am a projecting MGM flunkie myself.

Absolutely right. Continue to honor the contributions of those that came before us.