Pierce Gym to be named for fallen police officer

Residents of Arbuckle have undoubtedly noticed the recent additions to the school thanks to a bond approved by the voters allowing for improvements. 

Pierce High School gym has had a massive overhaul and a new name has been suggested to go with it. 

High School Athletic Director Michael Barber presented a request to the Board of Trustees last Thursday to name the south gym after Daivs police officer Natalie Corona, a Pierce alumna. 

The board voted unanimously to approve the new name, after discussing last month if there had been other naming requests and running it by the Corona family. Barber reported that the family was honored.

While Pierce High School can boast of many alumni that have gone forward into the world to do some rather impressive feats, Trustee Abel Gomez pointed out that not every name can be presented on the facade of a building. The school was erected in 1955 and for over 60 years, so many noteworthy youths have called the school their own and that many more will follow. 

“There will be people throughout the years and future years that will pass on and a facility can be named at anytime for anybody for whatever the purpose,” Gomez stated.

Some of the heroes that have a diploma from the school also have their names engraved on plaques around the town. Each dedication was done in a motif that was appropriate for the honor being given. 

“Yes, there’s other veterans that have died during service that we do have a memorial for,” said Gomez, who added that the Veterans Memorial Park was just completed 10 to 15 years ago.

Superintendent Carol Geyer specified that with Justin Casillas, for example, at Arbuckle Elementary there’s a Peace Pole in his honor at Arbuckle Elementary School.

“I was the principal at the time, and we did a whole ceremony with his family and it was really cool,” she said. “I believe we’ve had other celebrations, and I believe we even did something here at Pierce and there’s a plaque for him as well.”

Barber, who was friends with Casillas, said, while Casillas played football and track, he thought it more fitting to name the gym after Corona, who played volleyball and basketball. ■