At a ceremony attended by Comal Independent School District board trustees, staff, students, parents, community leaders and residents, Canyon Lake High School was formally dedicated last Saturday.
CLHS Principal Dr. Cheryl Khoury was joined by CISD Board of Trustees President Bill Swint, teachers and students in a short ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the school. Then guests were invited to the school’s theatre for an entertaining program of music, dance and speeches.
The Presentation of Colors was conducted by the CLHS Army JROTC, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Freshman/Sophomore Student Council class officers. The CLHS Band performed a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem and Principal Khoury welcomed guests and introduced the speakers.
“This band has only played together since August, and just listen to how great they sound already,” said Khoury. “We feel like our students have really made this school their own and they’ve done it very quickly. Most of our teaching staff has come here from other places and we think we’ve done a great job of picking our staff to serve our students.”
After introducing the Executive Director of the Comal Public Schools Foundation, Khoury received a check for $2,500 in grant funds provided
by area businesses and citizens.
CISD Board President Bill Swint thanked attendees for being special guests and taxpaying contributors to this beautiful new high school.
“This school is the largest single expenditure in the fifty-year history of CISD and a great accomplishment,” said Swint. “We realized the district was growing in 1998 and that growth hasn’t let up. Comal ISD is constantly challenged by that growth not to let the details get in our way to meeting the educational needs of our students.”
Swint related one piece of advice that he remembers hearing from former Superintendent Dr. Jerry Major that made a deep impression.
“He said, ‘in all the processes we go through, we have to remember to keep the main thing, the main thing,’” said Swint. “Our mission statement is my focus; it states that every student that walks through out school doors have the same opportunities to be as good as they can be; our democracy depends on it.”
Dr. Jody Duran, Assistant Director of Secondary Education thanked guests for their continued support of the district.
“Canyon Lake High School is the final project of the 1999 bond issue and it took eight years to get here, but all good things come to those who wait,” she said. “With nearly 1,000 new students entering our school district every year, it is our daily mission to provide a top-notch education and to help our students have productive lives and pursue the many opportunities open to them.”
“This is not just a building; the students have breathed a life into this school and teachers, you have empowered our students with knowledge,” said Duran. “We hereby dedicate Canyon Lake High School on October 20, 2007, to teach students for many years to come in this amazing facility.”
CLHS Art Teacher Claudette Cozzi created a painting shortly after 9/11 to honor a friend; a firefighter who died in the disaster.
“She thought enough of Canyon Lake High School that she wanted this painting to be a permanent part of the high school,” said Khoury as she dedicated the gift.
CLHS Emerald Dancers performed a dance routine created specially for the school’s dedication ceremony with the band providing the music. Khoury pointed out that the talented dancers were just a part of all the wonderful things going on at the new high school.
Following a special musical performance of “Bless this House,” the band, made up of freshmen and sophomore musicians, played the first hearing of the school’s Alma Mater, “Green & Gold” while the CLHS Choir sang the words. Then, the band and choir presented the first hearing of the school’s fight song, “We Are the Hawks!”
Closing remarks were made by Carol Keller, Treasurer, Board of Trustees.
“Canyon Lake High School is more than a beautiful facility for the families of this Canyon Lake area who all join together to enjoy the success of everything these students will represent,” she said. “Our students need each of us to nurture, guide and encourage them.”
During a cake and punch reception in the school’s huge, bright and open cafeteria, members of CLHS Student Council and CLHS Cheerleaders provided tours of the school.
Health Science Technology students provided free blood pressure screenings in the school’s clinic office, and student artwork was on display throughout the school. The band played a selection of musical tributes in the band hall.
Canyon Lake High School was built for $42 million and has classroom capacity for 1,500 students.
About 460 freshmen and sophomores currently attend the school and it will grow a grade a year.
The first graduating class will be in 2010. The mascot is the hawk and the school colors are forest green and gold.
“In rolling hills, by waters wide, our alma mater stands with pride.
As one we fly, mighty and bold, within our hearts burns green and gold.
Hawks rise above, we soar on high our will and strength will never die.
And as we leave its hallowed halls its fire burns within us all.
We’ll stand together, full of pride.
We are Canyon Lake High!”