By Martie Thompson
Construction on new High School HHH in the World Golf Village area is moving along at a steady pace and the time has come to plan for the school’s name, mascot and spirit colors. School principal Jay Willets hosted a virtual community meeting in early October to start the process.
“We had 130 people attend the virtual meeting, which I consider to be a really good turnout,” Willets said. “The most important part of the meeting was to explain the naming and mascot process.”
A PowerPoint presentation included information about the current state of construction, proposed academic programming, the school’s academies and athletics, in addition to historical information about the area surrounding the school to help with ideas for names and mascots.
A survey was sent out in mid-October to all families identified in the High School HHH zone to solicit input. Next, a committee made up of interested students, parents and community members met in late October to whittle down the survey results to the top five to eight choices of each that will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board at its December meeting. The school board is ultimately responsible for naming the school and the mascot, but as usual will consider community input.
According to Willetts, High School HHH will open in fall 2021 and will begin with grades nine, 10 and 11. He said it is the first St. Johns County high school built to the specifications of 2,100 students; previously constructed high schools were built to handle 1,500 students. High School HHH will also serve as a hurricane shelter for the community.
High School HHH will offer three academies: the Academy of Innovation in the Built Environment, offering building construction curriculum in a partnership with the University of North Florida; the Academy of Future Health Care Professionals, in conjunction with Flagler Health+; and the Academy of Leadership in Emerging Technologies, with an emphasis on robotics, drones and coding. A sponsor for this academy is to be announced shortly.
Additionally, High School HHH will offer one of only two Collegiate High School programs in the district. College classes will be offered in conjunction with St. Johns River Community College that will begin in ninth grade; students will ultimately have the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree at the same time they earn their high school diploma.
As for athletics, Willets said the school will offer the same battery of varsity and junior varsity programs as other St. Johns County high schools. During the PowerPoint presentation, Willets revealed the color palette for the interior of the school, which will influence the school’s spirit colors.
“It’s a warm palette with shades of orange, black, gray and maroon,” Willetts said. “We will select the spirit colors utilizing the color scheme from the school and are leaning towards gunmetal gray, burnt orange and black.”
Mascot suggestions were listed in the PowerPoint presentation, with everything from moccasins to bulls to ospreys; Willets told meeting attendees the main stipulation was that the mascot could not be the same as any other St. Johns County elementary, middle or high school.
“The hope is to try to keep the mascot as regional as possible,” Willets said. “Right now, hurricanes and tornadoes are of interest and if you saw the land before High School HHH was built, bulls and toros would be appropriate because the land was a cow pasture previously.”
The High School HHH website (www-hhh.stjohns.k12.fl.us/) is now live. It will be continually updated with a Frequently Asked Questions section as well as the latest construction photos.
“We’re excited to get this school opened and get kids on campus,” Willets said.
Photo courtesy St. Johns County School District
High School HHH under construction.