Along with what still remains of Christmas dinner, the decisions reached by the High School Mascot Committee at its Dec. 20 meeting will at least give community members something interesting to chew on over the weekend.
According to a Dec. 23 press release, the committee has finished the individual scoring process of the mascot ideas generated in the polls conducted at both the high school and middle school earlier this year. As a result, the original list was narrowed down to 14 names and then scored by the committee as a group.
This final scoring process resulted in the following top four mascot candidates: Rattlers, Rapids, Sasquatch and Megawatts.
However, committee members also “agreed to add Riverhawks as an additional finalist due to its popularity in the poll process.”
Chartered by the North Wasco County School Board in October, the committee was formed in response to the Oregon State Board of Education ruling that “prohibits Oregon public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots.”
A list of mascot suggestions already considered and evaluated by the committee includes everything from the Falcons, Wildcats, Sturgeon and Coyotes to the Unicorns, Pandas, Dragons and, simply, the Wind.
Each of these was vetted according to a “scoring rubric” established by the committee and scored based on general “uniqueness” and their ability to be considered “reflective of the community” and to “inspire school spirit.”
According to Trudy Townsend, committee adviser, the next step in the decision-making process will be to gather feedback on the newly narrowed mascot choices from members of the local community.
“After winter break, the committee will meet to conceptualize components they would like to see included in dynamic presentations that would be prepared for each mascot,” her press release states.
“The committee is hoping to engage the multiple talents of our students; staff and community in developing these presentations that will help us all visualize a future with a new mascot to represent our school and community.”
While the committee may have reached a point at which they feel confident enough to name a “final four,” they are, however, “open to accepting any new ideas community members may have.”
Any new mascot suggestions will be vetted by the committee using the same scoring rubric as past choices, and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Jan. 9.
Mascot ideas that have already been considered by the committee can be accessed via the North Wasco County School District website at http://www.nwasco.k12.or.us/Page/627.