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New Cal Poly Could Be Heading Up North, Third in California



Mascot Lucky Logger with Humboldt State football players. (Humboldt State Facebook)
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Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

Students who want a Cal Poly education could soon get a third option: California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt.

Next week the California State University Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider a new name for the university now known as Humboldt State that’s nestled among the redwoods in far northern California.

The new designation will give more students in Northern California access to a high-demand polytechnic program. If approved by trustees at next week’s board meeting, the name change will take effect immediately.

The first Cal Poly was California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, founded in 1901, followed by California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, which was founded in 1938.

Also in School Zone: 

  • The Fresno Unified Area 5 trustee seat is vacant but already assigned to board committees.
  • Amazon handing out $200 for Fresno Unified teacher projects.
  • Two of Top Ten Esports colleges are in California. 

Humboldt State, which was founded as Humboldt State Normal School in 1913, may be changing its name, but Lucky Logger will continue to be the mascot of the Fightin’ Lumberjacks.

(School Zone’s history lesson du jour: Normal schools were the early designation of teacher training colleges or schools. Fresno State’s original name was Fresno Normal School.)

Assignments Already Lined Up

Whoever wins the April 12 special election to fill the Fresno Unified Area 5 Trustee seat could find a full plate when he reaches the dais. The yet-to-be-elected Fresno High area representative has already been named to four of the 11 board committees: The Board Bylaw Subcommittee, Council of the Great City Schools, District Audit Committee, and FUSD Legislative Committee.

Six of the trustees are getting more than their usual number of committee assignments because twice-censured Trustee Terry Slatic is barred from serving in such capacities under board-imposed restrictions.

Four candidates have qualified for the special election ballot: retired educator Russ Allen, retired firefighter Andy Fabela, teacher Andy Levine, and retired administrator Daniel Renteria.

Amazon Giving $200 for Fresno Teacher Projects

Fresno Unified and San Francisco Unified have been selected for Amazon’s Teachers’ Wish List campaign, the only districts in the state chosen.

Amazon will pay for up to $200 per classroom project through the nonprofit DonorsChoose, and the funding is available whether or not they already have projects listed on the website.

But hurry — the grants will go on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants will be dispersed through the end of the school year or until the funding runs out.

All but 13 of the district’s schools will qualify for the grant program’s criteria, which mandates that at least 50% of the school’s students are Black, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander or multiracial, and at least half qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

“We’re grateful to Amazon for providing this opportunity for our teachers to fund projects based on their classroom’s unique needs,” Superintendent Bob Nelson said in a news release.

Sponsorships? Scholarships? Esports Athletes Are Lining Up

Parents, if you think your kid is just wasting time playing video games, you should know that their “hobby” might just help pay for some or all of college. And Valley kids who excel at gaming won’t have to travel far, since two of the top 10 universities and colleges for esports (as rated by in its Top Ten College Varsity eSports Programs) are here in California.

But prospective students will still need the academic chops to gain admission to UC Irvine (ranked No. 2) or UC Berkeley (ranked No. 9).

Irvine, the first public university to offer an esports program, now offers several scholarships. Berkeley’s esports perks include the state-of-the-art Cal Esports Community Center and its Women in Gaming Initiative that’s designed to make participation more diverse.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email