Apache Name Conversation and Process
We have recently received requests to revisit the use of “Apaches,” the longstanding namesake of Arcadia High School. Please know that the Arcadia Unified administration and Board of Education hear these concerns and are committed to revisiting this through a thoughtful, transparent process where all sides of this issue can be heard collectively. The process to examine a change in a name that has been in the community for over 50 years and one that was affirmed through a relationship over 20 years ago deserves to be meaningful and should honor the passionate voices that exist on both sides of this issue. This will not be done and should not be done in the middle of a pandemic when just opening schools and establishing what teaching and learning looks like for our current students under strict safety guidelines is currently overwhelming our resources and time.
I am hopeful that we will be back together in person soon and able to commit a platform and the time to elevate all voices on this issue and make the important decision on whether this community wants to continue to use the Apache name or retire it. These concerns will also be presented to the White Mountain Apaches, whose voice will rightfully lead this conversation. I am personally committed to facilitating this process because after being in Arcadia now for over 15 years, I want to ensure that this process is given the full attention and respect it deserves and can be one that unites people instead of dividing people. I care too much to bypass good processes on something as important as this.
When we closed schools on March 13th due to the global COVID-19 crisis, the first message I shared with staff and the community was to give space and grace to those around you who are dealing with this unprecedented crisis both personally and professionally. Please understand that this issue is very important and will be addressed, and I ask for your patience in allowing for an appropriate process as we hopefully open school and are able to be together as a school community to address this issue.
Dr. David Vannasdall
Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent