The "crusader" mascot has been controversial because of the violent role the actual crusaders played in history. We have discussed changing the mascot in the future and we meet with many different opinions.
Many people have an attachment to it because it is a part of the history of this Northwest Santa Rosa school. People who claim Comstock as their alma mater do not want us to change it.
We have softened it by using the "crusader" term in a more peaceful context: crusading for knowledge, for peace, for achievement. One of our logos calls us to go on a "quest for knowledge" Many people crusade for positive things, so we can broaden the context.
We have entertained some other possible changes, such as the Comstock Monarchs to honor our work in building a butterfly habitat. However, this is something for us to consider down the road. A change in mascot will need to be funded: new uniforms, and signage. In the meantime, we will continue to pacify the "crusader". See below for a picture of our new costume: Cornelius, the crusader for peace and justice.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
I stepped softly on this shaken soil.
Who cracked this ground?
I wanted to know.
I asked many around me.
Some blamed me, even though I had just arrived.
Some blamed them, even though they knew them not.
Some lamented that they were just not good enough.
Some asked to join me in my quest.
month by month,
year by year
Those who wanted someone to blame
Now we see the buds coming through richer soil
We will continue to plant.
© Laura Hendrickson 2017
In my third year as principal at Comstock Middle School, I had been able to cull and develop the faculty I wanted to move the school forward. A collaborative and innovative culture was beginning to develop. This was quite an achievement for a school and staff that had been through declining enrollment, threatened closures, white flight, and program improvement. The teachers who remained had a strong commitment to the school. After the first two years as principal, we increased enrollment by nearly 100 students so we were also able to hire new and fresh teachers to join the team. Teachers who were not able to adapt to this more invigorated culture chose (some with a gentle nudge) to leave.