Fargo School Board renames Woodrow Wilson High School to Dakota High School


The process of choosing a new name for Woodrow Wilson High School in Fargo is now over. What started back in October took exactly two months from start to finish, and came to a close at Tuesday night's board meeting of the Fargo Public Schools Board of Education.

“Effective the 2021-22 school year, the school that is currently referred to as Woodrow Wilson will be referred to as Dakota High School,” Board President Rebecca Knutson said. “I'm looking forward to what is yet to come.”

Dakota High School finished two points ahead of Central High School after the board's votes were tallied Tuesday.

Several board members raised concern with the name Dakota, as it is part of a tribal nation's name. But both Knutson and Superintendent Rupak Gandhi indicated local Native leaders approved of the name, with Knutson saying the tribal members referred to Dakota as a "happy" name. Gandhi said the chair of the city's Native American Commission had voiced support for the name change, as well.

The 129 name list was trimmed to 26 last month, at which time the Board completed a "forced ranking" of the 26 names, forwarding the top five to tonight's board meeting for consideration and final approval of the new name of the high school.

The top five names from the ranking, by points received, were Dakota High School, Central High School, Voyageur High School, Agnes Geelan High School and Valley High School.