New school to be named after founder of Junior Ski Program

Marce Herz photo courtesy WCSD
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has voted to name its newest middle school after former elementary school teacher and athlete Marce Herz, co-founder of the Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program. The new school will be in the Arrowcreek area of south Reno and is scheduled to open in August 2020.

According to a district release, "Herz taught in northern Nevada for 10 years, including five years at Mt. Rose Elementary School. She was a world-class athlete who set U.S. and world records in track and field sports, as well as 16 amateur alpine ski titles. She was a co-founder of Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program, the oldest and largest non-profit ski/snowboarding program in the United States. The program says it has instructed more than 100,000 children since its formation in 1948."

“Marce Herz was a true pioneer who championed involvement in sports for all young people,” says Board President Katy Simon Holland. “We are proud to name our newest school as a tribute to her enduring contributions to the children of Washoe County. The Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program helped make skiing and snowboarding accessible to many thousands of our students from all over the District at a time when diversity in the sport was incredibly rare. She was dedicated to promoting equity and sportsmanship among our students, and we congratulate her family for this well-deserved honor.”

Herz graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and worked as a journalist for the Reno Evening Gazette. She also taught for a decade, and encouraged all children to participate in sports. She died of leukemia in 1964 at the age of 52.

Trustees chose Herz’s name from a list of three finalists submitted by the School Naming Committee, whose members reviewed names suggested by the community. The name of fellow finalist Ann Carlson will automatically be considered as a semi-finalist for future schools. Trustees also considered naming the school “Arrowcreek Middle School.”

Marce Herz Middle School is designed to alleviate overcrowding across the south Reno area. It will serve the new middle school model of sixth- through eighth grades.