SPS announces name, mascot and colors of new high school

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 20, 2016

 Southfield Public Schools Board of Education President Michael Poole discusses the announcement of the name, mascot and colors for a new high school that will merge Southfield High and Southfield-Lathrup Jan. 12 at the John W. English Administrative Center.

Southfield Public Schools Board of Education President Michael Poole discusses the announcement of the name, mascot and colors for a new high school that will merge Southfield High and Southfield-Lathrup Jan. 12 at the John W. English Administrative Center.

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SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — Seats were scarce Jan. 12 as students, teachers, faculty and staff gathered at the John W. English Administrative Center, as members of the Board of Education and student representatives announced the name, mascot and colors of the new high school.

The new school will be called Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology, and will identify as the Warriors. Its colors will be blue, white and red.

Students from both Southfield-Lathrup and Southfield High worked together to come up with four concepts for each category, which were voted on and finalized by the Board of Education.

Next school year, Lathrup and Southfield high schools will be combined into one high school at Southfield High, 24675 Lahser Road, as part of the Imagine 2020 initiative.

To battle declining enrollment and revenue issues, the board announced plans that included the closure of the school in June after the Imagine 2020 plan was narrowly approved.

The school board adopted the plan to majorly reconfigure the school district, which includes hiring and wage freezes, as well as the closure of schools.

The goal of the new plan, according to a previous report, is to improve academic quality, choice and financial sustainability.

The decision to downsize didn’t come without much debate. Several parents and students voiced their concerns through question-and-answer segments at a series of community meetings before the plan was approved last year.

“Clearly, we are providing more choices and more learning opportunities for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Lynda Wood said at the reveal. “Today we are revealing the name, colors and mascot, but this is just the beginning of our journey. We will need the continued support of our staff, parents, students and our community in the days to come as we work together to ensure our students are well-equipped for bright futures.”

According to Associate Superintendent of Instruction Derrick Lopez, 40 student ambassadors began the process in October.

“We wanted to begin to look at what our students wanted in a high school, what they needed in a high school and what they desired to grow themselves in a high school,” Lopez said.

The top concepts were narrowed into a final four through a vote from the students in grades 9-11 from both schools.

Southfield High School junior Torey Barclay said being a student ambassador was a learning experience for him.

“Being a student ambassador has been a unique experience. We had the opportunity to come together and become one unit. This is something I never thought I’d find myself doing, especially with the Lathrup kids,” Barclay said. “Through this experience, I have learned to have an open mind and to compromise. It was a great experience, and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of it.”

Southfield High School student ambassador Shannon Harper said serving on the committee allowed her to see the perspective of Southfield-Lathrup students.

“It gave us a chance to see each other’s point of view, because before we were at school and we heard what our peers thought, but we never got to see what the other school thought about the actual merge,” Harper said. “So, we had a lot of differences and a lot of similarities and we bonded over it. When we came together, it wasn’t Southfield and Lathrup — it was just Southfield students in the community.”

Alma Deane, director of K-8 education and professional development at SPS, said students selected the name “Warriors” as a symbol of strength.

“Sometimes when life comes at you, there are certain aspects of it that you can’t control. You warrior through it and you champion through them. You join together collectively and you just become a warrior. You fight through challenges and you rise above it,” Deane said.

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