At the February 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board approved a recommendation to change the name of Sunrise Park Middle School when it moves from the Sunrise Park neighborhood to the current White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus building in the fall of 2024. The new name, Mariner Middle School, is a nod to the District’s past.
“As a proud graduate of Mariner High School and a student of Sunrise Park Junior High School, I appreciate the work of the committee in honoring our school district’s history in this way,” said School Board member Scott Arcand. “The strong community support that emerged for ‘Mariner’ during the name submission process makes it evident that this name is meaningful for our Mariner graduates.”
The renaming of the middle school comes after a process that took place during the 2022-23 academic year. A naming committee composed of students and parents, community members, staff, and administration, solicited input from the community. More than 300 recommendations were submitted, half of them including “Mariner” and about 40 including “Sunrise.” Using the feedback, the committee came to consensus on two names and submitted both Sunrise and Mariner, along with the rationale for each, to the Superintendent to review with district administration.
The final recommendation of Mariner Middle School was chosen in recognition of the original name of the building when it opened as White Bear Mariner Senior High School in the fall of 1972. In 1983, the district’s two high schools, White Bear High School and White Bear Mariner High School, merged to become White Bear Lake Area High School with the two buildings identified as the North and South Campuses.
“The name selection honors the history of the school district by returning the original name, Mariner, to the building,” said principal Christina Pierre, who co-chaired the committee along with Tim Wald, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations. “Mariner High School was recognized for innovation and excellence. This sets a high standard for the middle school as we move into the newly renovated space.”
When the middle school program moves to the current South Campus building in the fall of 2024, the Sunrise building will undergo renovations and become the site of District Center, Early Childhood, Transition Education Center (TEC) and the Senior Center.
The location changes come as part of the district’s Building Our Future facilities plan approved by voters in a 2019 bond referendum. Complete information about the district-wide construction projects can be found at isd624.org/BuildingOurFuture.