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Alums, Students, Teachers & Parents AGAINST Changing Colonial High's Name

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A community group called Presencia, headed by Carlos Guzman who is also the president of the Puerto Rican Leadership Council, have proposed changing the name of Colonial High School in Orange County, Florida.

Guzman states: "What does this mean, Colonial? Most people think it's a lousy highway with a lot of traffic or think of the South and Colonial times. It doesn't mean something that will be appealing to the public."

Their solution? To rename the school Roberto Clemente High. Clemente, who was born in Puerto Rico and was a Major League baseball player for 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, died in 1972 while en route to deliver equipment and food to earthquake victims in Nicaraqua.

Though Clemente has NO TIES to Colonial High, Guzman and his group feels that because the current student population is largely Hispanic, this will resonate with them, and somehow fix any PR issues the school has.

Guzman states: "If we do a name change, that may help with morale, and may help us market the school better."

The name "Colonial" may not mean anything to Guzman - and it probably shouldn't, as he never went there. However it means A LOT to the 55 years of alumni, many who have sent their own children there. My parents; my brother; my aunts; my uncles; my cousins -- ALL have graduated from Colonial High.

The name "Colonial" means something to the AMAZING teachers who have given their all over 55 years. What a slap in the face it would be to give in to the whims of a total stranger and rename the PRIDE and the GOAL of these teachers!

Every morning, former Principal Dr. Mitchell would get on the television and declare loudly: "IT'S GREAT TO BE A GRENADIER!" At a time when he was new to the school, this endeared him to the current student population that he chose to take PRIDE IN US as we were and encouraging us to rise to the occasion, rather than merely repackaging us as something different. Dr. Mitchell never tried to polarize the population as Mr. Guzman seems to want to do.

We, the undersigned, petition the members of the Orange County School Board to KEEP Colonial High's name as-is, and to not humor any petition by Mr. Guzman to devalue the tradition and name of Colonial High. We are alumni; we are current students; we are teachers; we are parents -- and the name of "Colonial" may not mean anything to Guzman, but it is OURS and we are NOT CHANGING IT.


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