Students want to keep Springstowne name
By Sarah Rohrs/Times-Herald
Posted: 10/07/2010 01:00:46 AM PDT
No doubt for Springstowne Middle School wrestlers Tiffany Quilala and clarinet player Ashley Contawae -- plus numerous parents -- a name carries a lot of weight. And none of them want their school to lose that name after its doors close.
Springstowne Middle School will be relocated to the Hogan High School campus after Hogan closes at the end of this school year. Whether the middle school will keep its name has yet to be decided.
Nearly 25 students from both the school's wrestling team and its marching band and drum line held a spirited rally Wednesday in front of the Vallejo City Unified School District Mare Island office to urge that Springstowne's name be retained.
They also took their case to school board members during their regular meeting.
Interim Superintendent Floyd Gonella said the board will decide on the name in a few months after a transition team on closure issues completes its work.
Meanwhile, parents and the Springstowne School Site Council have touched off an online and paper petition drive.
"We're trying to save our name," said Tiffany Quilala, an eighth grader who wrestles with the Lady Wildcats, the school's prestigious team that's clinched national tournaments and hosted international competitions.
"There's a lot of pride in the name," concurred sixth grader Renee Manansala, another Lady Wildcat.
With her little brother on her shoulders holding a sign "Don't Ruin the Legacy of Springstowne," Amanda Avelina, a
Springstowne grad, said she's joined the campaign. The school's wrestling team and band will have to start from scratch if the name is gone, she added.
Parent Christina Carino said Springstowne students consistently score well on state academic tests.
Wrestling coach Jason Guiducci said the school's enrichment programs have benefited kids, parents and Vallejo, and the name should remain to protect continuity and pride following closure.
"Please honor these kids and the legacy they have created. Let them remain Springstowne Wildcats," Guiducci said in a prepared statement before the board.
School Site Council President Tina Burns said a name change would require new uniforms, wrestling mats, band uniforms and other items.
Board member Hazel Wilson told parents and students the names of both Springstowne and Hogan must be honored and that it's her hope a compromise recognizing both schools can be reached.
"We will be serious about helping to maintain the spirit and legacy of Springstowne," school board member Adrienne Waterman said.
Contact staff writer Sarah Rohrs at email@example.com or (707) 553-6832.
Vallejo School Will Be Hogan, Not Springstowne
By Sarah Rohrs / Times-Herald
Posted: 11/04/2010 01:00:33 AM PDT
The Dr. James J. Hogan Middle School -- that's the name of the school Springstowne Middle students will attend in the fall.
The Vallejo City Unified School District Tuesday unanimously voted on that name to give Hogan High School when Springstowne Middle School students occupy the high school campus in the fall. Hogan High is closing at the end of this school year.
"We have to honor the individual over the location," trustee Hazel Wilson said in strongly advocating that the high school's namesake be preserved.
Trustee Cris Villanueva agreed, saying that the district owed it to the students and the community to respect the history of its prominent citizens.
Springstowne School Site Council President Tina Burns said she was "devastated" by the board's decision. She added district officials had last month promised a widely advertised public forum for the matter to be heard, but she did not believe that happened.
Burns presented 332 petition signatures urging that the Springstowne name be saved. She has said a name change would require new uniforms, wrestling mats, band uniforms and other items.
A noisy crowd of about a dozen Springstowne Lady Wildcats waved signs outside the district's Mare Island board chambers before the meeting urging trustees retain the Springstowne name.
"I'm here to support the name," Springstowne seventh grader Jennifer Carino, a member of the prominent girls' wrestling team, said. "The wrestling team has done a lot of good things for the school."
However, board members said that it was more important to honor the legacy of Dr. Hogan, a prominent Vallejo physician, who campaigned to keep Mare Island Naval Shipyard from relocating in the 1920s and also spearheaded medical and scientific research and breakthroughs.
Springstowne's name is connected to its location in the Springstowne area.
Several Hogan alumni also appealed for preserving the Hogan name.
Vallejoan Joanne Taylor said the physician was a local hero many have looked up over the years.
"This is a hero and we don't have too many heroes in Vallejo," Taylor said. "We didn't have anymore more influential than Dr. Hogan."
Hogan began as a junior high school and then shifted to become Hogan High School in 1962.
District staff had made several suggestions for a new name -- all of which involve combining both schools' names into a new moniker.
Interim Superintendent Floyd Gonella recommended that Springstowne's mascot, a wildcat and its school colors, red and blue, be continued after relocation.
Wilson said Springstowne's legacy and contributions in sports and music can be preserved and honored in its new location and under a new name.
Contact staff writer Sarah Rohrs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 553-6832.
Springstowne Middle School's wrestling program HAS an impact on young lives that will last them a lifetime -- and lessons learned will serve to make them community leaders and role models. These lessons will jettison them into meaningful careers, will help them be better, more involved parents, and will bring them new friendships that will last a lifetime. If anything happens to Springstowne's wrestling program, it would have an adverse effect on Vallejo that will last for generations.
-USGWA/USBWA President Kent Bailo
-USGWA/USBWA President Kent Bailo