Emerald High School to welcome its first Aerouants in 2024


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Emerald High School students will be known as the Aerouants, represented by this rendering of an ancient Celtic dragon

Students, parents, and teachers alike have agreed for years that the Dublin Unified School District needs a second comprehensive high school in order to support Dublin’s growing population. Ever since construction plans emerged in 2015, the entire city has held its breath, waiting for the second high school to come to fruition. Fortunately, Emerald High School has announced that it will officially open its doors to Class of 2027 freshmen in Spring 2024.

Emerald High will be headed by Principal Francis Rojas, who has 12 years of experience in the education field. Prior to his appointment at Emerald High, Rojas was the principal of Milpitas High School for five years, from 2017 to 2022. In an interview with local newspaper The Independent, Rojas stated, “My responsibility is to make sure that on day one, the school is ready to open within all the laws and regulations in California.” Additionally, there are a number of staff and faculty members transferring from Dublin High School to Emerald High next year. The inaugural leadership team includes Lenni Velez as Assistant Principal, Carter Stimson as Student Activities Director and Social Science Lead, and Constance Peinado as the English Lead. 

However, the opening of Emerald High hasn’t been without controversy. The former mascot of Emerald High, a serpent, was widely discussed and, at times, criticized. Addressing this backlash, Rojas announced at the DUSD Board Meeting on February 28, 2023 that the mascot had undergone a change and would now be an Aerouant. According to the Emerald High School website, “Aerouant” is an “Ancient Celtic word for a dragon-like beast.” 

Although the final mascot is different from the one originally decided on, students were still involved in the change. The “Emerald High School Colors & Mascot Final Report” reported that in mid-January, 343 rising Emerald High students responded to a survey about the mascot, in which 38.8% chose the new term “aerouant” while only 19.7% selected the “Leave as is- Emerald High Serpents” option. Now that the mascot has been officially confirmed, branding designers are refining its images and poses, involving students by allowing them to choose the font for the school’s name and initials. Fallon Middle School student Kyla Son expressed approval towards the change, saying “I appreciate that those in charge… were willing to take the cultures and backgrounds of the students into consideration.”

Emerald High is not just limited to the debate over its mascot, though. Future students have gotten a chance to get to know the school better through informational sessions and its first class meeting. At Dublin High’s Open Night this past January, future Emerald High staff hosted an informational session for all Emerald High families. On March 29, 2023, members of the first freshman class were invited to the Fallon Middle School Library to discuss student activities ranging from sports, to ASB elections, to student clubs and organizations.

It may have seemed like Emerald High got off to a rocky start, with a prolonged disagreement over its mascot, but involving its students in major decisions has allowed the school to settle on a new, unique mascot. With 2024 fast approaching, members of Emerald High’s first class can look forward to officially being able to say “I am an Aerouant.”