By Tim Herrera | Special to the OBSERVER

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) held a formal dedication ceremony yesterday for Nathaniel S. Colley, Sr. High School. The new community school for grades 7–12 is named after the late Sacramento civil rights leader who was one of California’s trailblazing attorneys in the battle against racial, social, and economic discrimination.

“Mr. Colley was a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer; a Sacramento community leader and human rights trailblazer and the mission of this school is in keeping with the mission and values of its namesake,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “This campus offers a stable learning environment where our mission is to provide unmatched support to help every student succeed.”

The school, which opened for the 2021–22 school year, provides core academics and interventions aligned with education standards. Students receive additional support and placement, counseling, and the opportunity for career exploration and Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. The campus also offers the Senior Extension Program, which aims to re-engage students in jeopardy of dropping out of high school—or who have been out of school and want to return to complete their graduation requirements.

“The students we are serving at this school are the exact types of students that Mr. Colley would have championed,” said Karina Talamantes, Sacramento County Board of Education President. “SCOE serves those young people who often might feel they are running out of chances, but we don’t let that happen here.”

Members of the Colley family were presented with a framed photo display commemorating the school dedication. Ola Marie Brown, Colley’s daughter, reflected on how her parents aspired to help young people succeed. “They always worked hard and encouraged young people to persevere, give it their best, keep trying. And if it doesn’t work out, oh well, let’s start all over again,” she told the audience.

The dedication included musical performances by students from the Fortune Charter School Drumline and speeches from local dignitaries, including Patrick Kennedy from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and former City of Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.

Following the formal ceremony, guests toured the campus and enjoyed displays that detailed Nathaniel Colley’s accomplishments.

To learn more about Nathaniel Colley, Sr. please visit the Colley Coalition website.