Sooke School District 62 Trustee Ravi Parmar announced the new names of two West Langford schools, set to open in Sept. 2022. PEXSISEN Elementary and Centre Mountain LELLUM Middle were names gifted by Songhees and Beecher Bay First Nations. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke School District 62 Trustee Ravi Parmar announced the new names of two West Langford schools, set to open in Sept. 2022. PEXSISEN Elementary and Centre Mountain LELLUM Middle were names gifted by Songhees and Beecher Bay First Nations. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

New Langford school names influenced by local First Nations

Sooke School District middle and elementary buildings to open in September 2022

The Sooke School District named it’s two new Langford schools inspired by First Nations language.

PEXSISEN [pronounced puck-see-sung] Elementary will house 500 elementary students in a two-storey building. The name – meaning ‘the opening of hands’ or ‘to have one’s hands wide open’ – was gifted by the Songhees First Nations.

Centre Mountain LELLYM [pronounced lay-lum] Middle will fit 700 Grade 6 through 8 students with three-storeys. The name was gifted by the Beecher Bay Nation and means ‘house’ and ‘the idea of community, where we raise our children.’

Centre Mountain is located near Westshore Parkway and is a treaty settlement between Metchosin, Langford and Beecher Bay, that includes the provincial and federal government.

“It gets me choked up to think about these names because it recognizes our history,” said Russ Chipps, chief counsellor of Beecher Bay. “We’re all treated as equals … it’s not something that you don’t think about anymore with the territories getting acknowledged.”

READ MORE: Sarah Beckett among top three name choices for two new Sooke District schools

Sooke School District trustee Ravi Parmar pointed out it is the fastest growing district in the province.

“Back in the early 2000s, we were declining in enrollment. It’s amazing to me that there’s a need for another secondary school out here now.”

Parmar says their latest numbers show that they’ve been growing by 300 to 500 students a year in the school district.

Popular potential names were Sarah Beckett, Westhills, and an Indigenous-inspired name, according to survey results from December 2019.

Both schools on the west side of Langford are expected open by September 2022.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

developmentSD62

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has reopened with 45 shelter spots for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. (Courtesy of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre shelter in Victoria reopens with spots for 45 people

Arena is an interim step until long-term housing is found

(Black Press Media file photo)
Suspect arrested after items stolen from parked vehicles in Saanich

Saanich police located the suspect thanks to a very detailed witness description

Maureen Garry is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Educator of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Former teacher at David Cameron Elementary a tireless advocate for musical education

Maureen Garry is West Shore’s 2021 Educator of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

Most Read