At Coronado High School on Monday the Mustang flag flew at half mast, a tiny spaceman stood watch over boquets of flowers, and the entire school paused to remember Astronaut Alumni William McCool.
"Instead of William McCool it was really Willie McCool here at Coronado." Principal Jack Booe was anticipating the return of a school spirit flag that McCool had taken with him aboard Columbia. "We had plans to frame it and have it out in the hall some place, but, of course, that won't happen now," said Kelly Tipton, Coronado student
McCool had made an impact at Coronado long before he was launched into space. "I had been hearing about him, he was in my english teachers class and she had spoken about him a lot," said Blake Templeton.
Intelectually gifted, socially outgoing, athletically gifted. His name still featured in a display case for track & field records. William McCool ran the 1600 in 4:35.1. In a student council we watched this clip that he made for Coronado and he emphasized always dream big and they're no limits beyond the stars.
On Monday the spirit was mourned and memorialized, as discussions begin to create a more lasting tribute. "When things settle down a little bit, we will meet with our student council officers and talk about a more permanent memorial for him. We'll kind of let them decide what direction they want to go, and try to purse that", said Boone.