On November 13, Vallejo High School unveiled a new mural which honored both the Hawks and the Apache.
The mural was courtesy of the 2018 senior class had funds left over and the class voted for a Redhawk to be painted next to the Apache logo in the quad. The 2019 seniors ended up taking on the project to ensure its completion. As part of the project, the Apache logo was also restored.
According to Andrew Johansen, the mural was painted by a company called “Murals for Schools” which he came across their work when he attended the CADA (California Activities Director Association) conference last year.
Johansen says the student government officials of the class of 2018 decided that they wanted to fund the mural. They had been raising money over their 4 years at Vallejo High School and had to decide how they would spend it before they graduated. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a design finalized before they graduated, but they set the money aside so that the mural project could be finished in the near future, and that is how it was a “gift” from the class of 2018.
“Over the past 5 years we have had a crisis of Identity within our school and community. Many people still identified with the Apache as our mascot, and it has taken a long time for people to begin to embrace the Redhawk,” explained Johansen. “We were reminded of the fact that we were Apaches every day by the iconic mural in our quad. I learned very quickly that people were never going to forget that Vallejo High School was the home of the Apaches. This is why we decided to not cover the Apache mural, but restore it and give it new life. At the same time we had to move on. We had to have something that reminded us that we are now Redhawks. The new mural is going to help us reconcile our Identity and give us an image of the Redhawk that we can be proud of.”
Johansen further explained with the two murals side by side, they will represent the school by embracing the past, but also looking forward to the future.
“For generations to come, the people of Vallejo will be able to see those two murals side by side and it will tell our story of how we were Apaches, but now we are Redhawks. This is something we did not have before,” said Johansen.