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Black, white and gold become new school's colors

It's official. When it opens in fall of 2009, East Ridge High School's colors will be black, white and gold.

The District 833 School Board, May 22, unanimously approved the colors presented by Aaron Harper, East Ridge principal.

On April 24, the board approved red as the dominant color with accent colors of navy blue and white, contrary to a recommendation from committee of residents, district staff members and students that slated navy blue as the dominant color with red and white accents.

School board members said navy blue was too close to royal blue, Woodbury High School's dominant color.

Some color-committee members objected to the change and others said the dominant color chosen by the board was too close to the red color of Stillwater High School, which is in the Suburban East Conference with Park and Woodbury high schools.

Over the past month, there has been "significant feedback from the community" by e-mail, letters and phone calls, Harper said.

Several board members, including Ellen Ayers, objected to choosing a color by a committee instead of waiting for students to decide after East Ridge's attendance boundary was decided.

Harper invited students, currently in seventh, eighth and ninth grades that will attend East Ridge, to meet on Sunday, May 18, at Cottage Grove Junior High School to discuss school colors.

About 25 students met to come up with recommendations.

Black, white and gold was picked to go on to a ballot with the two color combinations that were in the running when the committee settled on navy blue, white and red.

Students who will attend East Ridge voted during lunch at Cottage Grove and Lake junior high schools on Tuesday, May 20.

Choices were: yellow and black; silver, black and purple, and black, white and gold.

Students affirmed the student choice of black, white and gold with 248 votes. Black purple and silver got 198 votes and black and yellow got 40 votes with about half of potential students voting, Harper said.

"There was much energy in the cafeterias," Harper said. "The voting process was very visible to students."

Harper said he chose black as the dominant color because it was in all three choices. "I'll leave the design for uniforms to graphic artists," he said.

"I'm glad students were able to decide," Ayers said.

Board Member Jim Gelbmann said he was "refreshed to see that administrators had the ability to say we might have made a mistake here."

"It was perhaps a hasty one," Harper said.

Harper gave a black T-shirt to each board member with "East Ridge Raptors" lettering in white and gold.

"I've been on the board for 12 years and this is the first time I've gotten a shirt from any of the schools," Gelbmann said.

Judy Spooner can be reached at

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600