With the Riverhawks picked as the mascot for The Dalles High School, the mascot committee is asking students and the community for design ideas for the new logo.
Designs can be submitted until May 7, said Trudy Townsend, mascot committee coordinator and North Wasco School District 21 staff member.
Design ideas in electronic formats should be submitted on a flash drive and hard copies are also accepted. They should be delivered to the North Wasco County School District Office at 3632 West 10th Street between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on regular business days. All designs must be submitted on a donation basis.
The district intends to engage a professional graphic designer to develop the final logo based on the conceptual designs submitted by the community.
Chartered by the school district in 2013 in response to legislation requiring schools change their Native American-inspired mascots, the committee has been working to generate ideas and gather opinions.
“It’s been a long, tough job, but many willingly stuck it out,” Townsend said.
“The students put forth a ton of effort, and I really want to thank the ASB officers who really put in a lot of time and energy into this project and helped make progress toward our final decision.”
The list of students and staff that served on the committee included ASB officers from The Dalles High School and Middle School, coaches and teachers, among others.
Townsend said, “Initially, we came together in December and went out for a quick vote at the middle school and high school, which let us see where we were at the time, but also generated a lot of questions from both students and then the general public about why we chose certain things, and it basically made us realize we needed to devise a fair and adequate process to find a new mascot.”
In order to raise awareness about the process used to reach the final five, as well as to generate excitement about the vote, the committee organized two assemblies featuring student-led presentations on each of the top mascots, with one taking place at the high school and the other at the middle school earlier this month.
“The reason we did the presentations,” Townsend said, “was we wanted to be able to try each of the mascots on for size and really get a chance to feel and take a look at them all individually, and based on the final product of all the students’ hard work, I think we really succeeded.”
After conducting votes allowing students grades 4-12 and staff to weigh in on the issue, in addition to an online survey for interested community members, the committee took an extra week to reach out to the district’s elementary schools.
According to Townsend, the committee found that “every group was clearly in favor of the Riverhawks as their new high school mascot.”
The school district business office tallied the votes and 59.3 percent of the popular vote went to the Riverhawks. Board Vice Chair Carol Roderick made the motion to approve the new mascot at a meeting last Thursday, April 24, which was seconded by board member Dean McAllister and passed unanimously.
Now called The Dalles Wahtonka Eagle Indians, the school name and mascot will change in the fall to The Dalles High School Riverhawks.