Education

Schools in Roseville, Colorado end fight over John Adams name

Betsy Stenklyft teaches second grade at John Adams Academy shortly after the school’s opening in 2011. She was a 30-year veteran teacher in Roseville and loved the school so much she came out of retirement to teach there.
Betsy Stenklyft teaches second grade at John Adams Academy shortly after the school’s opening in 2011. She was a 30-year veteran teacher in Roseville and loved the school so much she came out of retirement to teach there. Sacramento Bee file

A brief dispute between a school in Roseville and one in Colorado over the right to use “John Adams” in the school name appears to be over.

Officials with the John Adams Academy in Roseville, K-12 charter school, issued a statement Friday saying they will not “allocate additional resources” to their effort to keep an as-yet unopened Colorado charter school from calling itself John Adams High School after the nation’s second president. The Roseville school opened in 2010. The Colorado school plans to open in 2016.

An attorney for the local school had sent a letter a month ago to Littleton, Colo., officials urging them to “adopt a new name that does not include ‘John Adams’ or any confusingly similar names.”

In that May letter, Sacramento intellectual property attorney Mark R. Leonard pointed out that the school in Roseville has trademark registrations for the name John Adams Academy. His client, he wrote, “reserves its right to seek injunctive relief, damages and all other available relief if such resolution is not forthcoming.”

The Roseville institution appeared to have backed off that demand by late last week.

The Colorado school’s board president, Matthew Krol, said Saturday he had obtained a copy of a statement, dated Friday, from the Roseville school’s headmaster Shane Schulthies, that says his school will focus on its education mission, not on the trademark issue.

“As John Adams Academies grow stronger and more recognized throughout California and beyond, our intent is to protect our brand while reducing the potential for further confusion,” Schulthies wrote. But, he wrote, “moving forward, we have decided not to allocate additional resources to this matter.”

Neither Schulthies nor Leonard could be reached for comment Saturday.

Krol in Colorado said he did not receive Schulthies’ statement directly, but got a copy from a Colorado television station.

“To me it sounds like they are abandoning their pursuit of this,” Krol said. “Both schools realize that education comes first. We are eager to move forward and focus on providing the best education we can for our students.”

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