School Misspells Its Name for 9 Years

School correcting signs, logos, everything else with incorrect spelling

A Fort Worth elementary school is correcting a spelling mistake made when it changed its name nearly nine years ago.

Sunrise Elementary School added "McMillan" to its name in the 2003-2004 school year -- but also added an extra "i."

The school changed its name to honor its first teacher -- Mrs. Mary McMillan, who eventually became principal. A relative recently reached out to the Fort Worth Independent School District to say it had bought an extra vowel.

Everything had the incorrect spelling of "Sunrise-McMillian" instead of "Sunrise-McMillan," including the lettering on the building, printed signs, vinyl congratulatory signs, logos and Facebook.

The lettering on the building was changed Monday.

"Oh, I was kind of shocked," said volunteer Ernie Johnson. "I hadn't paid it any mind."

Johnson waters the grass on school grounds and never knew the spelling was wrong.

Ever since hearing from McMillan's relative, the school has been correcting the error.

But the name is in many places people easily forget, such as business cards, visitor's passes, certificates and digital signatures embedded in email.

The school is taking the corrections with the right balance of seriousness and humor. Principal Marion Mouton and his staff keep finding misspellings to correct.

"Our day-to-day things that we just take for granted now and, as we're coming up with it, we're seeing 'OK, that's something else we need to fix,'" he said.

The student body as a whole hasn't been told, though some may know. Once more misspellings are corrected, the school hopes to turn the mix-up into a teachable moment on how to take responsibility, correct an error and move on.

When visiting her class, teacher Jouet Dotson came up with a quick brainstorm on how to teach the new, correct spelling.

"You know how we say there's no 'i' in team?" teacher Jouet Dotson brainstormed. "We could say, 'Well, [at] Sunrise-McMillan, we're a team, so there is no 'i' in the last part of McMillan.'"

The Fort Worth ISD isn't saying how much it will cost to fix all the mistakes but did say it's exhausting all resources to try and keep costs down.

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