By Juliet Becker, Online Feature Editor
// After being disheartened by the loss of beloved physical education (PE) teacher and coach Chris Huber on Jan. 21, 2020, the Acalanes High School community continues to celebrate his life and his impact on the school.
The Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) Governing Board unanimously voted on Nov. 17 to rename the Acalanes Big Gym “The Chris Huber Memorial Gymnasium” in honor of Huber’s memory.
Campus Supervisor Andy McDonald suggested the gym’s new name several months ago. Then, a committee made up of students, staff members, and faculty from across AUHSD proposed the new name to the Governing Board, following the necessary protocol of gathering signatures and raising appropriate funds to support the action.
“The process is laid out in Board regulations. They’re actually pretty detailed. The origin of the idea was actually [Andy McDonald] who, shortly after Chris Huber died, basically said… ‘if we should do something about it, we should do something like rename the gym after him.’ And I thought that was a really brilliant idea. So then I looked at the Board [regulations] to see what the requirements were to do that,” Social Studies Department Chair and teacher Joseph Schottland said.
Some of Huber’s former students appreciate the gym’s renaming because of their fond memories of their teacher and coach.
“I think that it is the proper way to honor him. He was a very influential figure in the basketball community and having the basketball gym named after him is a perfect reminder of sportsmanship and respect every time you step onto your athletic field. ‘You die twice. Once when you physically die and once when someone mentions you for the last time,’ and the gym being named after Huber keeps his legacy alive,” junior Sammy Lee said.
Huber’s Acalanes colleagues also support the action and find it a proper way to honor their fellow teacher and friend.
“The reason that so many kids loved Mr. Huber so much was because he always put the kids first and he was very patient and kind. I think this is an appropriate acknowledgment of him … If he hadn’t gotten sick, he would still be here, teaching here right now,” PE teacher Mike Ivankovich said.
Overall, the Acalanes community is glad that Huber’s legacy is being represented on campus in an enduring way.
“I am so happy that our staff and community have found such an appropriate and satisfying way of memorializing Mr. Huber and his contribution to our blue community. Chris was a delightful human, so kind and generous, so humble and dedicated,” Associate Principal Mike Plant said. “His catchphrase was ‘it’s another beautiful day in Lafayette, California,’ and that ethos continues to inspire me and others.”