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Archdale new student president at Coronado High

       Elected by his fellow students in April, T.J. Archdale will be Coronado High's student president for the 2014-15 school year.
       Now a junior, he will take over from Carter Gerber of the Class of 2014, who has been president during the school year ending May 23.
       Unlike Gerber, who worked with student government all four of his years at Coronado, Archdale only got involved during this past year. However, he had participated that way previously while attending Holmes Middle School. And even while doing other activities as a Coronado freshman and sophomore “I was interested in the workings of the school,” said Archdale. Now as president, “I'm putting myself out there to help my school.”

Outgoing Coronado Student President Carter Gerber (left), with 2014-15 President T.J. Archdale.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Looking ahead to 2014-15, he sees a big priority in helping rebuild student spirit. He believes it was flagging a bit this year. As the District 11 high school for the Westside, Coronado has a tradition of student enthusiasm, but it may have been diluted by adding a few hundred new students who in the past would have gone to Wasson (which closed as a traditional high school after 2012-13) or to Palmer (which relinquished some of its attendance area to Coronado as part of the Wasson change).
       Regarding those new students, Archdale said, “I think they felt they were being pushed into a new school. I want to make everyone feel they are part of it.”
       Both Archdale and Gerber said it will help having current assistant principal and 1990 alumnus Darin Smith as the school's new principal next year. Smith, chosen this spring with the help of a community process that included students, has been the school administration's liaison to student government and is known for his “charisma,” as Gerber put it.
       Another mission for Archdale is to build support for Coronado's minor sports (other than football and basketball). “I think we schould hype it up a little more for them,” he said. “Football [which won state this year] is exciting, but I'd like to help the other sports.”
       Archdale attended Chipeta Elementary before Holmes. His academic interests are mainly English and math. An outside interest is lacrosse. It's not an official sport at Coronado; he plays on a club team that's organized through Palmer High, he explained.
       Student government at Coronado is a class that any student can sign up for. The class typically has 30 students, including the president and a dozen or so elected at the same time to the student cabinet.
       Gerber gave his presidential year mixed reviews. “I thought the first semester was phenomenal,” he said. “There was great participation from the cabinet. But the second semester, I think we got a little lackadaisical. Part of it might have been senioritis.”
       The highlight, he said, was “Mr. Mojo Day,” in which Coronado hosted a leadership and anti-bullying event attended by students who were bussed in from 25 schools in the area.
       After graduation, Gerber will start in August at Kankakee Community College in Illinois, a two-year school where he has been awarded a half-tuition baseball scholarship. Currently, he's on the Coronado baseball team that's made the state playoffs. Business will be Gerber's academic concentration in college.
       Annually, Coronado's most visible outreach to the Westside is the Homecoming Parade through Old Colorado City. A fall tradition since 1981, the parade closes off the streets between 30th Street and Bancroft Park, where a pep rally is held for that afternoon's Homecoming Game. When parade costs rose a few years ago because of city regulations, paying for it was initially a concern (because educational funds aren't used), but funding sources have since been found, and everything should be set for this fall's event, Gerber said.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/8/14; Schools: Coronado High School)

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