Board decides on name for new high school in Amherstburg

Director of Education at the WECDSB Erin Kelly makes funding announcement at General Amherst High School in Amherstburg, October 31, 2016. (Maureen Revait)

The new high school in Amherstburg will be called North Star High School.

The Greater Essex County District School Board trustees voted on the name at its last meeting. There were four names presented to the board including Great Sauk Trail, Southwest Alliance, and Southwest Unity.

Trustee Ron Le Clair said he brought forward this this name because of the connection to the town’s history.

“One of the key elements of that is the north star was used by people escaping slavery, utilizing the underground railway that led to Amherstburg,” said Le Clair.

The naming process of the school was a source of contention between the board and many residents. The board chose to steer away from a name connected to the town’s namesake Jeffrey Amherst due to his poor treatment of Indigenous people.

“Ultimately, we realized that General Amherst was probably not an appropriate name and we are bringing two communities together, Western and General Amherst, so we wanted to have a new name that people felt was inclusive and welcoming,” said Le Clair.

The new high school is expected to open in September 2022. It will combine the student populations of General Amherst High School and Western High School.