Mayor wants baseball field named for Jim Colburn

January 24, 2007
Santa Paula High School

Mayor Ray Luna has asked the Santa Paula Union High School District Board to consider naming the varsity baseball field after alumni Jim Colburn.

By Brian D. WilsonSanta Paula TimesMayor Ray Luna has asked the Santa Paula Union High School District Board to consider naming the varsity baseball field after alumni Jim Colburn.Luna told the board that honoring Colburn was a long overdue issue. Colburn, who was an outstanding athlete at Santa Paula High in the 1960s, went on to become a college star and broke into major league baseball in 1969, playing for the Chicago Cubs. After an outstanding career, Colburn served as a pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently the pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.“I think honoring Jim Colburn is overdue,” Luna told the trustees. “This is something I feel past school boards have overlooked. I’m asking you to consider naming the baseball facility after Jim Colburn. It’s important that we as a community come together and continue to recognize the contributions that have been made by our former students.”
Luna added that he feels Santa Paula is blessed to have someone like Jim Colburn as a former student of the high school and he feels naming the baseball field after him is overdue. Luna said he’s asking former students, as well as current students to consider getting involved. “I’ve asked some of the kids who play baseball now at the high school and sadly they don’t know of Jim Colburn,” Luna added. “I just don’t want to wipe away our school history.”Luna also encouraged the board to consider unifying the high school and elementary districts under one administration. “I feel by having two school districts for a city our size and districts as small as ours is antiquated and left over from years past,” Luna said. He feels the best way to educate Santa Paula’s children would be to unify the two districts.“I’m asking both districts to share in a study,” he noted. “I’ve also asked the two boards to take this issue before the voters. “Does it make sense to pay for two superintendents in a city that is only 4.4 square miles. Unification has been discussed in the past and we need to update the information on unification. Considering all the budget restraints and possible growth into the canyons, now is the time to ask for a study on unification.”Luna said that there has to be a strong partnership in the community regarding children’s education. “Job creation and training is lacking and we need to take a close look at where are students are being employed after they graduate and go into the work force,” he noted. “We need to keep a record of that to better understand the needs of our students. Education is the best investment that we as a community can make for our students. In unifying our schools the time is now. Unification will increase efficiency and will free up dollars to go into the classroom for the education of our children.” Luna also said that teacher salaries and housing for teachers have always been a point of concern and unifying the schools will help towards paying our teachers a better salary.

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