CREST HAVEN – What’s in a name? A brighter image, a sense of unity and the pride it entails.
Sporting red and black, new school colors, students at the former Alternative High School of the Special Services School District broke into cheers at a March Madness pep rally when Principal John C. Becker III shouted on March 29, “We are not an alternative to anything. We are a county high school, the Cape May County High School.”
As of then, when students proudly sported buttons of red and white with the school’s new mascot name, Cougars, the future seemed to brighten.
The school’s name change, colors and mascot were approved by the state Department of Education.
In addition, the school’s new basketball team, the Cougars, was introduced as teacher cheerleaders waved pompoms and joined the happy chorus of young voices.
Some students painted their faces with red and black paw prints or Cougar, all to show their renewed school spirit.
The basketball team, coached by Steve Roth, teacher of the handicapped, won its game the previous night against Ocean City High School, which added to the merriment.
Becker said the school name change resulted because administrators and faculty agreed that the school was not an alternative, but a high school deserving of a new name and respect.
He said students selected the colors and the cougar.
“There is a definite change in the students’ attitude about their school and a new pride that came directly from changing the name, colors and mascot for the school,” said Marge Krah, teacher of the handicapped.
After the name change was announced, a “pressure cooker” foul shooting contest was held.
In the competition, overall student champion was John B. who also plays basketball for the Special Olympics.
Individual championship went to Sue Wunder, teacher of the handicapped.
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