Board of Trustees approves the name “Archie Williams High School” for HS 1327

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Dominic Haggard

The name “Archie Williams” was approved by the TUHSD Board of Trustees to become the new name of HS 1327/Drake High School.

On May 11 2021, the TUHSD Board of Trustees voted to approve the name “Archie Williams High School” as the new official name of Sir Francis Drake High School. This vote was unanimously approved by all five board members.

After the Drake Leadership Council (DLC) voted for the name “Archie Williams” to be the new official name of Drake High School, they turned the vote over to TUHSD Superintendent Tara Taupier. Taupier then gave the decision to the board, who gave the final vote in their meeting on May 12.

This means that the name change process is finally coming to an end after nine months of brainstorming, feedback, votes, and controversy. Many members of the community and alumni ultimately felt that Archie Williams would be a fitting name for the school.

“Archie Williams is inarguably an individual who made tremendous contributions to our school, our community and to our nation. DLC used a process that, while not perfect, did provide students, staff and our community the opportunity to be heard,” said Leslie Harlander, TUHSD Board President.

Students and staff of Archie Williams High School (AWHS) will now take it upon themselves to learn the history behind Archie Williams and why the name will fit the school’s values.

“He taught here for 21 years and his passion was making sure that students felt connected,” said AWHS Principal Liz Seabury.

The next step will be for the school to pick a mascot. Until May 21, there is a form available to students asking them to suggest their favorite mascot idea and the reason for their decision. This will then be voted down by the DLC, who will decide the final mascot between June 7 and 10.

Choosing a mascot will allow students to get  involved and learn more of the history of Archie Williams –  a history that many of them may not fully know.

“I like the name, I just don’t really know much of the history behind it,” said AWHS freshman Loretta Hovey.

As for the next steps of the name change, Seabury hopes to first change the sign in front of the school and then the sports jerseys. These she feels are the most important for embracing the new name because they are what people first see. The school colors, however, will stay the same.

Seabury feels that the history and reasoning behind this name should be remembered and honored to the fullest extent.

“We will never be Williams High School…We are always Archie Williams High School,” Seabury said.

After nine months and a total of 15 DLC meetings, there is officially a name for Drake High School.

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