Sioux Falls newest gigantic-triple-plex elementary school to be named after Super Homenn


In an amazing, yet deserving move, the naming committee for the new school that will replace Mark Twain will be named after the presiding Super Homenn.

When one of the committee members was asked what the heck they were thinking by throwing out 200 suggestions and naming the school after a sitting super, she responded, “Thinking? Who needs to think when Homenn makes all the decisions for you? Besides, most of the suggestions (given to us from the super’s office) were for Homenn, or at least Homenn Like.”

While the over 200 suggestions that were presented to the committee were shredded, South DaCola, was able to dumpster dive into the instructional center’s recycling bin and hire an illegal immigrant to piece the paper shreds together (Thanks Sharif, hope you enjoy the McDoubles).

While Sharif wasn’t able to piece the entire list together, I did find a recurring theme within the first few pages;

Homenn Elementary

Oprah Winfrey Elementary

P. Homenn Elementary

Equal Pay Elementary

Pam H. Elementary

Anis Nin Elementary

P.H.d. Elementary

Mimi Van Doren Elementary (a very famous SD woman)

Well you get the picture, it looks like the committee had no choice but to name the school after Homenn. After all, it really was Homenn’s school to begin with. She recommended the consolidation of schools, hired a realtor to buy up houses in the area before the school board even approved the consolidation, had the School Board rubber stamp her recommendation (even though several parents objected) kept the naming committee she appointed secret, and shredded the over 200 suggestions that were made to the committee.

I feel good about the name change, after all, it’s about time we name a school after a living legend, rather than a dead one. Remember, Homenn has been a true rebel since her inception, first by breaking district rules by living out of the school district (because of her precious horses), denying sick kids a graduation ceremony, blaming the Shopping News for an anti-abortion ad in a sanctioned school directory that the communications director approved. Hiring two of her daughters to work at SE Tech, claiming it wasn’t nepotism because she isn’t the BOSS of SE, just the BOSS’s Boss of SE. She kept her contract a secret until state law made her reveal it, giving herself lavish benefits while denying raises to subs. I could go on and on about the other ‘infamous’ actions of Homenn, but I think the sub title underneath the actual signage at the school will say it all,  “Well behaved women rarely make history.” And you can bet a Susan B. Anthony coin the community will embrace this name to.

*This was satire. No Susan B. Anthony coins or horses were damaged during the writing of this article.


#1 Pathloss on 10.29.13 at 3:43 pm

OMG, the coldest wickedest old maid who doesn’t even live inside the school district.

#2 neighbor on 10.29.13 at 4:08 pm

So, this will be the Susan B. Anthony Elementary School in the Mark Twain neighborhood.


#3 neighbor on 10.29.13 at 4:59 pm

Pam Homan will be interviewed by Rick Knobe (KSOO) tomorrow sometime between 4 and 7.

He said he is strongly opposed to the change, and he intends to ask her about it.

#4 Winston on 10.29.13 at 5:01 pm

Well, at least they didn’t name it Sanford!

#5 grudznick on 10.29.13 at 5:38 pm

This, sir, is some fine reporting.

#6 Scott on 10.29.13 at 8:09 pm

Susan B. Anthony isn’t a bad name for a school. A new school, that is. Which we’ll have built soon. But to rename a rebuilt school? Makes no sense to me.

#7 Winston on 10.29.13 at 9:07 pm

Scott – Exactly! It’s not like the folks from Longfellow and Jefferson are going to find some kind of comfort knowing that the Mark Twain folks lost their name too. It seems to me that this whole “Namegate” was a waste of the School Board’s time. Don’t they have more important things to deal with than thinking about a new name for a school that more or less already exists?….. But at least though, they didn’t name it after Mundt or Janklow….. However, that’s probably just a matter of time…..

#8 Wayne Fanebust on 10.29.13 at 11:34 pm

Its Mamie, not Mimi, Van Doren

#9 Winston on 10.30.13 at 12:24 am

Do you think Mamie’s past filmography credits might disqualify her from having a school named after her someday(?):

“High School Confidential!”
“Teacher’s Pet”

But regardless of whether you know her as “Mamie” or “Mimi,” she definitely was not “Mini”:

#10 neighbor on 10.30.13 at 2:13 pm

Ironically, the Mayor holds his third annual Neighborhood Summit this Saturday. (see to register)

The summit is set up to promote the development of neighborhood identities!!

The neighborhood surrounding Mark Twain Elementary has been building its identity for almost a hundred years. (the school was built in 1920)

I am certain they are NOT amused by the idea of now being called the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood!!

BTW, has the Minnehaha Historical Society officially designated the neighborhood surrounding the school as the Mark Twain District? I’m guessing there must be a historical marker somewhere in that area.

#11 Poly43 on 10.30.13 at 3:21 pm

This satire is really not so far fetched. We already have one school named after a super (John Harris). So, which existing school is most likely to up for a name change? I’ll submit JFK. After all, what red blooded South Dakotan can handle a school named after a Kennedy?

#12 Karma on 10.31.13 at 3:20 pm

She got her ass handed to her at the common core meeting she had a few weeks ago as well. She started the meeting with “this will not be a debate. We will provide you with information and you can ask questions, but we will not get into a debate.” Uhh – that backfired and it was frickin’ hilarious. At one point – the whole room began clapping because a parent stated how teachers have no voice and if they choose to have a voice that isn’t part of the administration’s agenda – they will receive an involuntary transfer or forced to resign. Of course madam Superintendent was appalled that this was the perception and that the room was clapping. What do they say…..perception is reality. IT WAS AWESOME!

#13 scott on 10.31.13 at 8:25 pm

Why don’t the anti homan people run for the school board? The board is the one that offers her a contract every year.

#14 Craig on 11.01.13 at 1:36 pm

They suggest naming a new school (which is effectively replacing three existing schools) with a new name and people lose their minds, yet what do you think would have happened if they tried to keep the same name?

People would have complained that it wasn’t fair to the memories and history of Mark Twain Elementary and that the new school bears no resemblance to the old.

Families who are forced to switch to the school would feel as if they weren’t as important because Mark Twain was given special treatment and allowed to keep their name instead of some combination of all the schools that are closing.

People in the neighborhood might act like it was a bribe to make them happy about the demolition of their cherished school.

Honestly for every complaint you have about the new name, there is an equal complaint about the old. Either way it is named after a historically significant person who (for the most part) isn’t controversial, so why are we making such a big issue out of it?

Honestly this seems like just one of those things people like to complain about just for the sake of complaining. Yet another example of no matter what the city/school/leaders do – someone, somewhere will hate it.

Tell you what – for the sake of compromise, we should just have named it Shania Twain Elementary. I’m sure the Borrowed Bucks crowd would love that one.

Better yet – just do what New York does and every school is a number. No controversy there… but also a bit confusing, cold, and impersonal – oddly enough some of the very same characteristics held by those who are complaining about the new name.

#15 Detroit Lewis on 11.01.13 at 1:46 pm

2 things

1) It was a waste of time and taxdollars to change the name

2) The neighborhood has the ‘Mark Twain’ designation. So are they going to change that too?

#16 Craig on 11.04.13 at 2:31 pm

1) Naming is an issue on any new structure. Either way it would have been discussed, so the time is a moot point. It isn’t like they hired consultants to research the best name or spent a year debating it.

Signage costs are a non issue since it is a new school and would require new signs. Would anything from the existing school be usable? Not sure – I suppose if you get real picky you could say the letterhead needs to change, but is that really a significant cost? I get your point about cost though… and changing a name just for the sake of change isn’t a good idea, but in this case I can understand it as it is a new school – not a remodel.

2) Sort of depends on why the neighborhood uses that designation. Often times neighborhoods which don’t have formal names just adopt whatever landmark is near them. Keuhn Park and Spellerberg are examples of this… but they aren’t formally named neighborhoods as far as I know.

I didn’t grow up in Sioux Falls, but if you told me to go to the Mark Twain neighborhood I wouldn’t know where that begins and ends. Maybe the locals are more attached to the name so it means more to them, but the same could be said about anyone who has memories tied to their particular school. This brings me back to my original point – if you kept the name some peopled would be upset. If you drop it, other people are upset.

Change is inevitable and you can’t please everyone. Is this really that big of an issue or instead are people just once again looking for reasons to complain about the school board or Dr. Homan? I always find the humor in the complaints… they never center around education but instead are political issues or concerns about Homan’s salary, benefits package, home address, where her kids are working, or her “iron fist”.

At least the whole common core issue is about education for a change – that is where the focus should be.

#17 Detroit Lewis on 11.04.13 at 2:52 pm

I am for Common Core, I think it is fantastic that kids are coming home ‘tired’ because they are being challenged at school, and that is a good thing. I think some people think school should be place for play time, socializing and playing sports. They are wrong, it is for academics. And if kids are getting smarter and knowledgeable because of common core, it is serving a purpose.

As for the name change, not really upset about it at all, just think it was a waste of time. If something isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I also don’t like the lack of transparency around the name change.

#18 Craig on 11.04.13 at 5:40 pm

“I think some people think school should be place for play time, socializing and playing sports. They are wrong, it is for academics.”

I agree 100%. People often wonder why we lag behind so many other nations in terms of academics… perhaps it is because we tend to spend more time and money focusing on everything else.

#19 Testor15 on 11.05.13 at 9:43 am

I also am not from Sioux Falls. The’permanent’ naming of a neighborhood after the school is stupid and lazy. This town does not like simple changes and it probably needs a change just to shake it up.

Homan’s all or nothing approach to everything is the problem in search of a solution. This naming process just highlights her weaknesses. She cannot tolerate anyone questioning her decisions, because they are hers.

A weak ‘leader’ cannot tolerate open discussions because they don’t not know how to control the outcome. Like the Platte River meandering through Nebraska, she is a mile wide and only a foot deep.