PRESTON-Preston High School Senior Selyce Burnett went before the Preston City Council during their Nov. 9 meeting with a request to change the name of a street within the city’s boundaries. She requested the two blocks of 200 South in front of the high school to be changed to PHS Drive.
It was her senior project. Senior projects are a requirement in Idaho for high school graduation.
“It was kind of intimidating to go before the mayor and city council, but as soon as the mayor (Dan Keller) said he loved the idea I became a lot more at ease,” she said. “Taking it to the city was the biggest step and I was surprised at how well it went.”
Not only did she get the thumbs up, the mayor and council were surprised that it hadn’t been done before and gave her the glowing approval she needed.
“The City Engineer Tyrell Simpson was the first one I went to,” the seventeen-year-old said. “He was the one who helped me get it before the city council.”
Then with mock-up in hand she went to the Public Works Director, John Balls and he helped her order the signs.
“I thought about using our mascot the Indian and calling it Indian Drive instead of PHS Drive, but I didn’t want to go through a name change in the future like Pocatello High School did,” she said. Pocatello High School is changing their mascot from the Indians.”
In September Trustees on the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District board voted to replace Pocatello High School’s ‘Indians’ mascot with a new name.
The Indian mascot for the high school will officially be retired June 1, 2021. Officials wanted to avoid switching the name in the middle of the school year. The search for a new mascot began immediately.
“As a student council we serve lunch on Wednesdays and I was really surprised at the number of teachers that came up and told me they liked the idea of changing the name,” Burnett said. “I thought the street name change would be a way to show school pride. We have a lot of pride in our school especially in our athletics.”
Burnett hopes to have the sign back from the sign making company before Christmas and have a ceremony for the street name change.
Russ Lee the Preston High School principal explained the senior projects in Idaho’s high schools. During their final year, students are required to come-up with a meaningful project that culminates what they have learned in school.
“Senior projects are an Idaho high school graduation requirement,” he said. “I’m from Utah and we didn’t do it there I think it is a great idea.”
Students start planning their projects their Junior year and work on it their senior year until it is completed.
“The senor project it is way for the students to demonstrate what they have learned in High School,” Lee said. “This is their project and they can apply the principals and knowledge they have gained in high school.