Thursday May 25, 2017
The South Burlington Schools Mascot Selection Oversight Committee (MSOC) announced “Wolves” as the student’s top choice for the new mascot and identifier in a run-off vote, Thursday May 18.
The quest for a new name to replace the Rebel moniker began with suggested names submitted by students, alumni, parents and community members in mid-April. From the original submissions, over 130 names were moved forward for consideration by the MSOC, who narrowed the field to 70 options for the first student poll held May 9. Students in grades 6-12 voted for their favorites, and a list of 12 semi-finalists was moved forward for the next student vote held May 16. Three finalists, Wolves, Huskies, and Pride (pack of lions) were moved forward for a student run-off poll Thursday, May 18.
Wolves emerged as the clear favorite among students who participated in the process. It was the most popular name in the primary poll, and maintained its lead in the instant runoff. Eighty-three percent of the student respondents had Wolves as their 1st or 2nd choice.
South Burlington High School Principal Patrick Burke, and F.H. Tuttle Middle School Principal Karsten Schlenter co-chaired the MSOC which included current and former students ranging from the class of ’67 to ’23. In addition to school faculty, and parents, the committee included Alumni who are local business people, a SB police officer, employees at St. Michaels College and UVM, and a SB Hall of Famer.
Burke commended the group for staying true to their commitment to transparency, assuming good intentions, listening and participating and completing tasks on time, noting that it was the energy and insight of the students that energized the committee’s work in meetings and at the schools throughout the process.
“As Principal I feel indebted to this group of people; they took on their role in the process with the seriousness, integrity, and open mindedness it warranted. In the end their recommendation does not reflect their opinions as individuals; but (more powerfully) it reflects the collective views of all who took part in the process,” Burke said.
Several students who have completed the school’s graphic design program will work with a professional to design a new logo, and will potentially hold focus groups to gather input. Burke noted that the design may take some time to be developed, and reiterated that the school will continue to be Rebels until August 15, when the change is expected to take place.
The committee will present a Resolution recommending Wolves to the school board for final approval June 7.