Elgin High's Maroon Drive Staying as Is after Addendum Stalls

By Malone, Tara | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

Elgin High's Maroon Drive Staying as Is after Addendum Stalls


Malone, Tara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Tara Malone Daily Herald Staff Writer

Elgin High alums, rest easy.

The road that skirts your alma matter will remain what it has been called for years - Maroon Drive.

An effort by some students to give the road by the east Elgin school a second, honorary name celebrating Cesar Chavez has stalled, school officials said this week.

A plan to name the road after a migrant worker who waged hunger strikes, grape boycotts and founded the United Farm Workers of America but holds no personal connection to Elgin High did not persuade all students and staff.

Any addendum to Maroon Drive ought to celebrate one of Elgin High's own, some teens contended, citing Nobel Prize winner, chemist and 1927 Elgin graduate Paul Flory.

"There was some push back," Principal Dave Smiley said of the Cesar Chavez plan. "That's Maroon Drive. That's part of who we are. We are nothing if not about our traditions."

Yet it was an effort to script a new tradition that sparked the Cesar Chavez Drive campaign earlier this spring.

"I don't know exactly where we are with this," said Fernando Villeda, who directs the school's Head Start program and helped coordinate the Chavez effort. "I just know it did create a huge level of controversy for a small group at this school."

A handful of Elgin teens suggested students would search history for a new, inspiring figure every few years. They would pick a person, draft a proposal, take the idea to their classmates and, if approved, go door-to-door in the neighborhood to collect petition signatures. …

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