Ask Joe: Why is Michael Landsberry not a finalist in school name search?

This undated photo released by the Nevada Air National Guard shows Sparks Middle school math teacher and former Marine Michael Landsberry, 45. Authorities say the student who opened fire on a the Nevada middle school campus, wounding two students and killing Landsberry, got the weapon from his home. Washoe County School District Police said they are still working to trace where the gun was bought. Police said a Sparks Middle School student was the lone shooter and turned the weapon on himself. (AP Photo/Nevada Air National Guard)

From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question from a viewer about the effort to find a name for the new elementary school in south Reno.

Our viewer, Jan, wrote in asking why Michael Landsberry's name was not chosen as one of the final selections, considering he very likely saved many lives the day of the Sparks Middle School shooting several years ago.

Here's what I found out:

It is interesting to note, the school district received nearly 200 submissions from the public, and Michael Landsberry was the name that was submitted more than any other. Fifty people submitted his name for the new school.

However the school district points out all of the submissions were reviewed by a selection committee which pared the original list of names down to ten. That was not based on how many times a name was submitted. So even though Landsberry's name was submitted more than any other it was reviewed along with all the other submissions by the naming committee.

Once that list was narrowed down to ten it was then narrowed further down to three names which have been submitted to the school board for consideration.

The three names the committee chose are longtime school district principal Nick Poulikadis, former teacher Ann Carlson and former Reno Police Officer John Bohach, who was killed in the line of duty.

They are all excellent choices, and the Washoe County School Board of Trustees will choose from those three to name the new school.

Michael Landsberry was killed trying to stop an armed student at Sparks Middle School in 2013.

I spoke with Riley Sutton with the Washoe School District, who says the committee felt Landsberry would be a better fit for a middle school rather than an elementary school and for a school closer to Sparks than this new school in south Reno.

The naming process is already underway for those two middle schools, one in Spanish Springs and the other in Sun Valley. You can go to to find out how to submit your suggestion.

So that's how the process works. The public has a say, but as we've learned, not the final say.

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