Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Recently, the Colton Joint Unified School District Board of Education asked for suggestions in naming its planned high school ("Board OKs name for new high school," March 13).
By an overwhelming majority, the submissions favored the name Grand Terrace High School. Yet, the board voted instead to name the new school after Ray Abril, a former board member, dismissing the input from the community.
Well, dear school board members, in your recent vote you forgot your own mission statement: The district is a partnership of parents, students, school and community.
Where was the partnership in this vote?
And how about listening to the parents of students who will be schooled at the new building? The name suggestions from these people should be given more weight in the decision-making than any ideas from those not directly connected to the school.
Character counts, and I say that the members of the school board showed less than acceptable character with their vote. They should take care of education and budget problems, and leave the naming of the high school to residents.
I recently heard about JoAnn Johnson, who has managed the Grand Terrace Senior Center. She declined the suggestion that the new building be named after her, because she believes the center belongs to the residents it serves. Now that is character!
I challenge Abril to do the same thing. He could show that he has character by declining to have the school named after him.
"Grand Terrace High" is the will of the people!
PAMELA SILVA MAUNE
Friday, March 27, 2009
For many years the city of Grand Terrace has asked for its own high school. Now we are about to have one. It will be rallying point for community pride and city representation throughout the Inland Empire.
What better name for that school than Grand Terrace High School? But against the wishes of the city residents, who asked for that name, the Colton Joint Unified School District board voted to name the school after Ray Abril Jr., a former board member.
This is a direct slap in the face to the city of Grand Terrace.
Do not the cities of Colton, Bloomington, Rialto, Fontana, San Bernardino, Redlands, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Beaumont, Banning, Corona, and many others, all have high schools named in their honor? Why is Grand Terrace not given that sense of pride and community unity? That opportunity?
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Mr. Abril. I don't know him, and neither do most of the students who will attend the new high school. If he deserves to be honored, then name a building on campus after him, or the football field, or the gymnasium. But the school should be Grand Terrace High School, named after the city I've lived in for 23 years.
Don't rob Grand Terrace of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Re: The action taken by the Colton Joint Unified School District in naming the new high school after Ray Abril Jr.
What a poke in the eye to our good neighbors in Grand Terrace. The name Grand Terrace is the only logical name for this school.
Further, the comments by county school board member Gil Navarro had more than a tinge of racism in them.
Every community in this area has a high school carrying the name of the city. Why not Grand Terrace? What an affront to the residents in GT!
I think the citizens of GT ought to come to the next school board with their pitch forks and let the board know who they work for.
DAVID C. FACE
Re: "Listen to families," March 19.
As I read this letter, I realized there have been a lot of dedicated people who are deserving of the honor of having a high school named after them. Ray Abril Jr. is just one of them.
Growing up in Colton, a second-generation Colton High School graduate, I encountered many wonderful educators, counselors, administrators and support staff who gave tirelessly of themselves. In my more than 20 years teaching and working at five different sites for Colton Joint Unified School District, I have worked alongside and for hard-working dedicated and inspiring people, all of whom deserve this honor.
It takes many people to educate one child, and CJUSD has some of the best people working for it. I know that because I was educated by them and now work with them. I feel my greatest honor is serving as a teacher, but that is not a place where many others see your hard work.
So, please, Mr. Abril and school board members, reconsider the name of the new high school.
Grand Terrace has been a part of CJUSD a long time. Colton has a high school named in its honor, so does Bloomington. It only makes sense to name Grand Terrace's school after the city. The people wanted the name Grand Terrace High. Lots of others are just as deserving as Mr. Abril, but the best name honors them all. It brings us together as the united district that we are. It honors all of the dedicated workers who make up the Colton Joint United School District.
Kindergarten teacher, Alice Birney Elementary School,
We are also looking for volunteers to sit outside of CVS and Stater Bros. as well.
If anyone would like to donate copies I would really appreciate it. I am just looking for white copies with black ink. I need to get copies of more petitions.
Here are the businesses that have the petitions:
Katherine's Beads and Supplies
Grand Terrace Quilters
Thursday, March 26, 2009
By Stephen Wall Staff Writer
GRAND TERRACE - The city wants the Colton school board to reconsider its decision to name the new high school in town after a longtime Colton resident.
In a letter delivered to the school district Thursday, the City Council unanimously expresses "dismay and disappointment over the naming process and the ultimate name selection" for the school.
The council "sincerely and fervently requests" that the school be renamed Grand Terrace High School, the letter says.
The school board voted 5-1 two weeks ago to name the school after retired trustee Ray Abril, Jr., who served on the board from 1973 to 2001.
The $82 million campus, on Main Street east of Taylor Street, is due to open in fall 2011. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled April 4.
The Colton Joint Unified School District conducted a public survey requesting nominations for a name. "Grand Terrace High School" was the overwhelming winner. "Ray Abril High School" came in fourth place.
It was "unconscionable" for the board to ignore "the clear mandate" from Grand Terrace residents who were "a driving force" behind the passage of two bond measures that helped provide money for the high school, the letter states.
The city also assembled prime commercially zoned land for the high school and sold property to the district at "a very fair market value," according to the letter.
Residents also sacrificed two sports fields at a city park for the school, and city staff helped two businesses relocate elsewhere in town so the 67-acre campus could be built, the letter says.
The city also paid for off-site infrastructure improvements needed to build the school, the letter states.
The letter notes Abril made "significant contributions" to the district and perhaps should be honored with a facility named after him in Colton.
Patt Haro, the lone board member to oppose naming the school after Abril, said she would ask her colleagues to revisit the decision.
"I believe firmly that the people should be listened to," Haro said. "I believe Ray Abril should be honored. I respect him immensely. I just don't think this is the venue to do it."
Board member Kent Taylor said he stands by the name.
"I support the decision that was made based on all the input I received from Grand Terrace residents and Colton residents," Taylor said.
Taylor said the naming controversy distracts from the "wonderful accomplishment" of Grand Terrace finally getting its own top-notch high school.
Board must listen to those it serves
Grand Terrace's new - and long-awaited - high school will be named after a longtime Colton resident.
Yes. Yes, really.
No matter that 34 percent of the nominations made for the school's name favored Grand Terrace High School. No matter that the cities of Colton, San Bernardino, Redlands, Fontana - most cities, really - have schools named in their honor.
Nope, the Colton Joint Unified School District, which serves students in five cities, voted 5-1 recently to name its newest high school after Ray Abril Jr., a former district board member who lives in Colton.
Let us be clear: We have nothing against Mr. Abril, who served the district with dignity for 28 years.
Nor do we believe Mr. Abril should decline this tribute, as some have suggested in letters printed here. This is an honor that Mr. Abril and his family should be allowed to cherish.
But we can't ignore the frustration that is evident among district families who see the school board's decision as a "slap in the face," as one parent put it.
Grand Terrace has waited a long time for a high school - longer than it should have had to wait, truth be told.
The district began to plan for its third high school back in 2001, when voters approved a $102 million bond. But increased costs and a lengthy planning process delayed progress on the high school; meanwhile, the district spent some $70 million on improvements and costs related to school construction.
In November, the district dared to approach voters again, and voters - parents, grandparents and concerned citizens who want students to have every chance to succeed - approved another $225 million bond to fund actual construction of the Grand Terrace high school and other projects.
For that, we think the school board owes voters. Voters at least have earned the right to state their preferences for the names of schools in their communities, and the right to expect board members to hear them. Really hear them.
This time around, though, board members asked for feedback and then blithely went ahead with naming the school after one of their own, disregarding the very input they sought.
We hope the school board learns a lesson from the public tongue-lashing it's getting in this newspaper and gives the communities it serves a real say in future decision-making.
Please leave a comment our voices need to be heard. Just click on this link
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The headline on a recent (March 14) report that the name the Colton Joint Unified School District board had decided for the new high school "irked" GT residents was putting it mildly. More appropriate would be "outraged."
If 124 people voted to name the school Grand Terrace High and only 17 voted for Ray Abril Jr., isn't that a clear majority in favor of the first name?
Instead, the school board went ahead and announced that it was going to be Ray Abril Jr. High School. It is pretty obvious that they had decided on the name beforehand. So why put on the charade and waste everybody's time?
The last time I checked, we were still living in a democracy. Who made the school board emperors? (I thought John Weeks had reserved that title for himself).
The citizens of Grand Terrace have fought long and hard for a high school. Why would they be denied pride of ownership?
And Mr. Taylor, the citizens of Grand Terrace elected you because they felt you would represent them. Well, with your vote you have proven them wrong. I hope everybody remembers that come election time - I sure will!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
City Council Meeting
We need to be there to show our support! Gather your friends and neighbors and let them know that we need as many people as possible.
Remember that we are doing this for our community and we should not bring any negativity to this meeting and future events in regards to this high school. We want to show the rest of the surrounding cities that we are good people standing up for what we believe in. This is also not a race issue, I have heard comments regarding this and I am quick to respond that this is not what this is about.
No matter who the High School would have been named after we still would be here fighting for the name to be Grand Terrace High School regardless of race or gender.
I hope to see you tonight. Thanks again, Collette
The naming of the new high school in Grand Terrace has struck a nerve with many citizens, and rightly so.
The Colton Joint Unified School District board's actions have once again sent the message that those in a position of power can do whatever is on their agenda.
Although this is frustrating, the statement that offended me was from San Bernardino County school board member Gil Navarro. Mr. Navarro stated "we need more role models for Latinos who are a majority of this district."
First of all, Mr. Navarro, all children need strong role models. As the grandparent of four grandchildren, three half-Mexican and one half-Japanese, I am very upset with this clearly biased statement. If you would like children to have good role models, then perhaps the school board members should mirror that in their actions.
The votes were clearly for naming the school Grand Terrace High School. In ignoring this, the school board's example is that those in power can do whatever you want.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The first involved our new senior center, which is under construction. Some suggested that it be named after the woman who has run the existing facility, without compensation, for 20 years. She denied the honor with grace and class because she felt it belonged to the city, and thus the Grand Terrace Senior Center was named.
Then there was a vote to name the planned high school in Grand Terrace ("Board OKs name for new high school," March 13). The Colton Joint Unified School District trustees voted to name it after a retired board member.
Grand Terrace residents were able to name the senior center, above, but did not get to christen the town's new school.
Grand Terrace has fought for a high school for years, and many residents would have loved to have the new school named Grand Terrace High School. This would let others know that we have our own high school, the same privilege enjoyed by Colton High School, Bloomington High School, San Bernardino High School, Redlands High School, Yucaipa High School and so on.
Understandably, the members of the board would like to honor a retired board member, but could they name the gymnasium, administration building or football field after this person instead?
To members of the Colton Joint Unified School District:
I have been a citizen of Grand Terrace for more than 35 years. My husband and I graduated from Colton High School, as did our six children. I am angered and saddened regarding your naming of high school No. 3.
You asked for suggestions for the name and yet disregarded the most popular name, that being Grand Terrace High School.
High school No. 1, Colton, and No. 2, Bloomington, are named after the cities they are located in, why change now?
You are choosing to honor one man while dishonoring a whole city.
Ray Abril always used the name "Ray Abril Jr." Why not use the "Jr." now, are you honoring him or his father?
Why not name it Eulis Hubbs (father of Ken Hubbs) High School? He served as president of the Colton Joint Unified School Board, was a citizen of Grand Terrace, and is deceased.
Or Dr. Owen J. Cook High School, former CJUSD superintendent, Grand Terrace resident, and recently deceased.
Mr. Abril, Mr. Hubbs, and Dr. Cook all are good men who served the school district well, yet Grand Terrace High School is still the most logical and fitting name.
Why not change the name of Colton Memorial Stadium (home of one of the greatest football programs around), to Ray Abril Jr. Stadium?
Your approval of a high school in the city of Grand Terrace took many, many years. Why so quick to name it, with very little notice to the citizens, and allowing so little time for input at the school board meeting?
You say Bloomington needs a new high school desperately, well the citizens of Grand Terrace, along with Colton and Bloomington, have paid taxes and passed bond measures to fund all schools in the district.
I hope you will listen to the citizens you claim to represent and change the name to the more appropriate and fitting Grand Terrace High School.
When is 17 more than 124? When Colton Joint Unified School District officials say it is!
Since the naming of the new high school was obviously a foregone conclusion, it was a complete waste of time and money arranging the recent board meeting.
It will be a high school, and it will be in Grand Terrace, so it will be Grand Terrace High School, in spite of the political shenanigans trying to name it after a person who, I believe, has roots in Colton, not Grand Terrace.
I'm sure that most people in Grand Terrace had never, or only vaguely, heard of Mr. Abril, and if, as I understand, he is a "junior" that will lead to much confusion, as we already have a "junior" high school.
Anyway, most people in Grand Terrace will call it Grand Terrace High School, regardless!
Posted: 03/20/2009 08:51:12 PM PDT
When the Colton Joint Unified School District needed bond money, not once but twice, to fund construction of a badly needed high school, the citizens overwhelmingly approved the bonds.
Now that the time has come to name the high school, the school board chose to ignore the generous tax-paying citizens.
A survey conducted by the district showed overwhelming support toward naming the school Grand Terrace High School but the board chose to name it after longtime school board member Ray Abril Jr.
Why did the district even bother to conduct a survey if most of the trustees had already made up their minds on naming the school?
The other two high schools in the district are named after the cities where they are located, so why remove the community's identity from this school?
Mr. Abril has always been a positive role model to all students and deserves to be honored, so why not name a gym or football field after him instead?
I would hope that the school board members who voted against what the majority wanted remember that a majority vote is what got them elected and can get them removed.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Naming a school could be a simple task, but the Colton Joint Unified School District is making it a difficult problem ("Board OKs name for new high school," March 13).
Public input was requested, and respondents overwhelmingly said they wanted the name Grand Terrace High School. Only 17 votes out of 365 wanted the school named after Ray Abril.
The people of Grand Terrace merely want the school to carry the name of the community in which it is located. But the Board of Education decided to ignore the vote of the people and name the proposed school after Abril, who served on the school board.
As often happens in this day and age, the issue of race was raised. Gil Navarro, a county school board member, said naming the school after Abril would send a positive message to Latino students.
I have lived in Grand Terrace for more than 30 years and have witnessed a predominately white community welcoming increasing numbers of people of varying cultures. All live a peaceful co-existence.
So let's not single out one ethnicity. Let's not play up race.
The bottom line is that everyone needs to give a little. Name the school according to choice No. 1, Grand Terrace High School, but recognize the other nominees in some way, by naming the mascot or educational areas or buildings after them, for example.
If the members of the board had no intention of listening to residents' input, they shouldn't have asked for it. The board members should consider that if they don't listen to the residents now, they may have no choice but to listen to them at election time.
Recently, the Colton Joint Unified School District board asked for suggestions in naming its future new high school. By an overwhelming majority, the name submissions favored Grand Terrace High School in tribute to the city that will be home to the new school. It was favored nearly 10-to-1 over Ray Abril High School.
Yet, at its March 12 meeting, the school board voted 6-1 to name the new high school Ray Abril High School, dismissing input from the community as a whole. Mel Albiso, who was running the meeting, allowed a mere 15 minutes of public comment from the many supporters there in favor of the name Grand Terrace High.
The people of Grand Terrace, and Colton residents such as myself, favor the name Grand Terrace High. Based on precedent, the first high school in a city is named after that city. It only makes sense.
The name suggestions from the parents and students should be given greater weight than those who will not attend the new high school.
Character counts, and the school board showed less-than-acceptable character by its recent vote. I recently heard about Joanne Johnson, a volunteer at Grand Terrace senior center. She declined the suggestion that the new Grand Terrace senior center be named after her because she believes the center belongs to the residents it serves. Now that is character that counts.
Well, I challenge Ray Abril to do the same - do the right thing and show he has character that counts, Ray, please urge this school board to overturn the March 12 decision and name this new school Grand Terrace High. If Ray Abril's priority really is the students, he will do so.
PAMELA SILVA MAUNE Colton
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Shame on Gil Navarro for trying to turn the naming of the high school to be built in Grand Terrace into a racial issue ("Board OKs name for new high school," March 13). The San Bernardino County Board of Education trustee said naming the campus after Ray Abril, who once served on the school board, would send a positive message to Latino students.
Colton High School is named for the city of Colton. Bloomington High is named for the city of Bloomington. Grand Terrace residents are proud of our city, just as the residents of Colton and Bloomington should be proud of their cities. That is why we want our school to be named Grand Terrace High School.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
School naming: a sham
An example of expedient democracy was recently practiced by the Colton Joint Unified School District Board of Education ("Board OKs name for new high school," March 13).
On March 12, the board voted to name the new high School to be built in Grand Terrace after a retired board member.
The board had earlier asked the public to suggest names for the new school, and residents strongly recommended the name Grand Terrace High School. All but one member of the board voted to ignore the wishes of the residents of Grand Terrace.
It seems to me that the members of the board had already made up their minds, and asking for input was merely a pretense at democratic action. Proffering this phony invitation was an expedient way to look clean.
HUGH J. GRANT
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
- First of all we need to get the word out to as many newspapers as possible. If we need to write everyday than so be it. We have two local newspapers here in town that we can contact as well.
- Talking to friends and neighbors regarding this. The more people we have the better. It is now time for the Silent Majority to come out and be heard.
- Email the Colton School District Board Members. I have posted their email address on the right hand side of the blog.
- Attend our City Council Meeting as well and the Colton School Board Meeting.
- Stand on the corner holding signs.
- Write on the windows of your car.
- The more visible we are the better.
If you have anymore ideas please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. You can also email me at email@example.com
I have been a citizen of Grand Terrace for over 35 years. My husband and I graduated from Colton High School, as did our 6 children.
I am angered and saddened regarding your naming of high school #3:
--You asked for suggestions for the name and yet disregarded the most popular name, that being Grand Terrace High School.
--High school #1, Colton and #2, Bloomington are named after the cities they are located in, why change now.
--You are choosing to honor one man while dishonoring a whole city.
--"Ray Abril" always used the name "Ray Abril, Jr." Why not use the Jr. now, are you honoring him or his father?
--Why not name it Eulis Hubbs (father of Ken Hubbs) High School? He served as President of the Colton Joint Unified School Board, was a citizen of Grand Terrace, and is deceased.
--Or Dr. Owen J. Cook High School, former CJUSD Superintendent, Grand Terrace resident, and recently deceased.
--Mr. Abril, Mr. Hubbs, and Dr. Cook all are good men that served the school district well, yet GTHS is still the most logical and fitting name.
--Why not change the name of Colton Memorial Stadium (home of one of the greatest football programs around), to Ray Abril Jr. Stadium?
--Your approval of a high school in the city of Grand Terrace took many, many years. Why so quick to name it, with very little notice to the citizens, and allowing so little time for input at the school board meeting?
--You say Bloomington needs a new high school desperately, well...
--The citizens of Grand Terrace along with Colton and Bloomington, have paid taxes and passed bond measures to fund all schools in the district.
--I hope you will listen to the citizens you claim to be representing and change the name to the more appropriate and fitting GRAND TERRACE HIGH SCHOOL.
--Or maybe Grand Terrace RA(H!) High School!
Thank you for reconsidering your decision,
Posted: 03/13/2009 03:04:03 PM PDT
Grand Terrace: High School No. 3 finally has a name.
The Colton school board voted 5-1 on Thursday to name Grand Terrace's new high school after longtime Colton resident Ray Abril, Jr.
Patt Haro voted no. Marge Mendoza-Ware was absent.
The vote upset many Grand Terrace residents who waged a grass-roots campaign to name the school after their city.
"I wish they would have gone with the will of the people," said Ed Gregor, a retired Bloomington High School teacher who lives in Grand Terrace.
The $82 million high school is expected to open in September 2011 at the corner of Main and Taylor streets.
The Colton Joint Unified School District last month asked the public to come up with nominations for the new school. Seventy-three different names were submitted.
Grand Terrace High School was the winner, receiving 124 of the 365 nominations. Ray Abril or Ray Abril, Jr. High School came in fourth place, garnering 17 votes.
A large contingent of Grand Terrace residents came to the meeting to try to influence the board's decision. Eight speakers favored naming the school after the city. Their comments were greeted by applause and cheers.
Grand Terrace Councilman Walt Stanckiewitz told the board that elected officials must follow the wishes of voters.
"If you're not going to consider the results of your request for votes, why did you ask the public to participate?" Stanckiewitz said.
As a compromise, Stanckiewitz suggested naming the school Grand Terrace High School, but dedicating it in Abril's honor.
Abril, 76, served on the Colton school board from 1973 to 2001.
Board member Robert Armenta, Jr. called Abril a positive role model who made "a significant and long-term difference" for all students in the district.
"While I can certainly understand the thinking on both sides of the `what to name the high school argument,' it is my belief that our schools are for our students," Armenta said.
Gil Navarro, a San Bernardino County school board member, spoke in support of Abril.
"We need more role models for Latinos who are the majority of this district," said Navarro, whose remarks were booed by members of the audience. "This is not about a city. This is about naming a school after someone who has contributed to the school district."
Several Grand Terrace residents vowed Friday to fight to rename the high school.
Wendy Baker, who lives in Grand Terrace and is the mother of a seventh-grader in the Colton school district, called the board's decision "a slap in the face" of Grand Terrace.
The cities of San Bernardino, Redlands, Fontana and Colton have high schools named after them, she noted.
"I am very sad," Baker said in an e-mail to board members. "You could have named the library or the gym after this person. Instead you took Grand Terrace's identity away."
I'm sure this letter will fall somewhere in the stack of angry letters that you have already gotten and are about to get. First a little background, I have always supported you since I've lived in Grand Terrace. I've always thought you to be a "straight shooter," and a good guy. I've attended several board meetings and have seen you around the soccer fields. This is why your second of the Abrill motion confounds me beyond belief. I can't figure it out. Why in the world would you turn your back on Grand Terrace after supporting our high school for so long? I just can't wrap my head around this. I was really not surprised by the votes of the other board members. Most of them didn't even want the school in Grand Terrace so this was their final shot at Grand Terrace, and they took it. Why you though? Could you please explain to my 12 yr old daughter why you did this? She went online to research Ray Abrill and has already asked why a guy who lived in Colton has his name on our school. I know, I know..its a Colton District school, but lets be honest...it will be in Grand Terrace.
I am sooooo disallusioned right now. When Housley ran against you last year, a group of soccer parents tried to get me to join his campaign , but I said, "oh no...Kent Taylor is our voice...he is our champion." Guess I should have given Housley a second look; you can bet I will next time. Please explain to my family and I why I am wrong. I am so angry right now that I can barely think straight so I'll stop typing and hit send.
Friday, March 13, 2009
A lot, apparently, for many Grand Terrace residents.
The Colton Joint Unified School District asked the public to come up with names for the new high school in Grand Terrace.
District officials conducted a two-week campaign in early February to solicit names for the campus, which is expected to break ground in April and open in 2011.
The top choice was Grand Terrace High School, which got nearly twice as many nominations as the No. 2 preference, Robert E. DeGroff High School. Robert DeGroff, who died in 2006, was a teacher and academic decathlon coach at Colton High School.
Blue Mountain High School came in third. Grand Terrace is known as the Blue Mountain City because of the Blue Lupine flower that grows in the spring on Blue Mountain, a hill that flanks the city on the east.
With two of the top three nominations related to Grand Terrace, residents want the board to respect their preference.
But some are concerned that the board may have made up its mind.
The board's seven members gave their own nominations at the Feb. 19 meeting, a day after the deadline for the public's submissions. Six members wanted the school to be named after former board member Ray Abril, Jr. Board member Patt Haro's choice was Grand Terrace High School.
The board is expected to formally vote on a name at the March 12 meeting.
Abril, a longtime Colton resident who served on the school board nearly 20 years, got the fourth highest number of nominations in the public survey.
The district received 329 e-mails and 36 phone calls submitting nominations. Grand Terrace High School had 124 votes, followed by DeGroff with 64, Blue Mountain with 57 and Abril with 13.
"Not to slight Mr. Abril or Mr. DeGroff or anybody, but when it's time to name a school, you name it after the community it represents," said Grand Terrace resident Ed Gregor, a retired Bloomington High School teacher.
Olivia Ortega, whose 8-year-old son attends Grand Terrace Elementary School, said it is wrong to name a Grand Terrace school after a Colton resident.
"I don't want to sound like a snob, but we're different," Ortega said. "I'm sorry. This is not Colton. This is Grand Terrace."
Board member Kent Taylor, who lives in Grand Terrace, said he said he will listen to all nominations before making a final decision.
"I can definitely tell you that Ray Abril is someone that has demonstrated outstanding leadership for our district," Taylor said. "He is a mentor of mine. It's a sense of honoring our elders and those that have paved the way."
The Colton Joint Unified School District Board of Education on Thursday evening voted 5-1 to name the Grand Terrace campus after 76-year-old Ray Abril, a longtime Colton resident who served on the school board for 28 years.
Board Member Patt Haro voted no. Board President Marge Mendoza-Ware was absent.
The vote came over the objections of Grand Terrace residents who strongly favored naming it after their city.
In a meeting punctuated by applause and at times boos, eight Grand Terrace residents spoke in favor of naming the school after their city. More wanted to comment but the board limited the total time for comment on the subject to 15 minutes under its rules.
Janice Martin, a Grand Terrace resident since 1965, said folks have been waiting for decades to have a high school and wanted it named for the community.
"This is our flagship high school," she said. "We're not going to have another school."
Two people spoke in favor of naming the school after Abril.
Gil Navarro, a county school board trustee said naming the school after Abril would send a positive message to Latino students.
Teacher Bernadette Pedroza said Abril served all students in the district whether from Colton, Bloomington or Grand Terrace.
"Ray is a symbol of bringing everyone together," she said.
Residents said after the vote that they didn't feel particularly unified with the board.
Of the 365 nominations from residents, 124 favored Grand Terrace High. Ray Abril and/or Ray Abril Jr. High School received 17 votes.
Lamont Dusseau, who lives near the school site, criticized the board after the vote for not following the wishes of the majority of residents.
"It would make me proud to have it named after the city," he said. "The precedent has been set with Colton and Bloomington."
The high school, slated to open in fall 2011, is estimated to cost about $75 million, some of which will come from Measure G, a $101 million bond measure voters approved in November.
Board Member Robert Armenta, Jr. said he nominated Abril for his leadership and dedication to academics.
"Our district is a better place because of all the contributions Ray Abril made," he said.