School board approves new name for Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights

The school will be known as Two Rivers.
Publish date:

"Henry Sibley" High School is out, with "Two Rivers" taking its place.

A monthslong name-changing process concluded Monday evening at the School District 197 School Board meeting, when board members voted to rename Mendota Heights' Henry Sibley High School as Two Rivers High School.

Two Rivers was one of five finalists selected in early June, following the creation of a committee and suggestions from students, staff, parents and alumni. The other options were:

  • Hillside High School
  • Mni Sota High School
  • West Heights High School
  • Ohoda High School

"Everybody that has talked to me has had very strong opinions about at least one of the names that was presented today," said Board Chair Joanne Mansur before the final vote, which was 5-1 in favor of Two Rivers.

The lone nay vote came from John Chandler, who explained during the meeting that a lack of enthusiasm or support for the options from his constituents meant he didn't feel right casting an "Aye" vote in any circumstance. He also cited the lack of a consensus (an earlier straw poll of board members during the meeting was 3-2 in favor of Two Rivers, with West Heights in second) as a potential reason to "roll back" the process and provide more opportunities for the public to weigh in, rather than "rushing" the vote.

"If they don't feel great about the name, at least they feel like their voices were heard," Chandler said before the final vote. A handful of attendees applauded following his comments.

But Mansur pointed out the board had voted unanimously to move ahead with the name change months ago, and noted more than six months' worth of work was not "rushing."

After a discussion period, the board voted to approve the name change to Two Rivers High School, with Chandler the only vote against it. 

Henry Sibley was Minnesota's first governor - but he was also a military leader in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, during which he established a military commission that sentenced 303 Dakota men to death. Sibley then protested when President Abraham Lincoln commuted the majority of the sentences. Thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged in Mankato in December 1862, which to this day remains the largest mass execution in United States history. 

The school board, during previous discussions, determined "Henry Sibley High School" did not meet the naming criteria laid out in district policy, which requires namesakes to have demonstrated “good character.”

Next Up

Taylor Rogers

Twins Rumors: Taylor Rogers could draw interest despite injury

The left-hander was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.


Severe storm watch: Apple-sized hail, 75 mph winds possible

A watch has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.


Screen Shot 2021-06-05 at 10.03.56 AM

5 options on the table for the renaming of Henry Sibley High School

A committee has put forward five possible new names for the high school, which is located in Mendota Heights.

henry sibley

Mendota Heights high school will drop Henry Sibley from its name

The process to choose a new name is in the works.

Da'Qwan Jones-Morris

Teen who died in St. Paul house was star athlete at Henry Sibley H.S.

The 17-year-old was a senior at Henry Sibley High School.

St Thomas Academy

2 Mendota Heights schools close after parent diagnosed with coronavirus

Visitation and St. Thomas Academy will be closed on Friday too.

Henry Sibley School

High school math teacher placed on leave amid investigation

The teacher and tennis coach has been at the school district for 17 years.

Owatonna Police Department

2 students charged after racism dispute at Owatonna High School

The charges are related to an altercation at the school on Feb. 11.

Minnehaha Academy students will head to Mendota Heights for school this year

The Upper School isn't safe enough to hold classes right now.