PERU — Three final choices have been set for the next Peru Central School District mascot.
The school's greater community will get to choose between the Nighthawks, the Wolfpack and the Blue Jays in an online and in-person vote from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5 at 3 p.m.
Following the district board of education’s retirement of the “Indian” mascot moniker in June, the school held several public hearings on a name change and formed a committee of school community members who wanted to assist in coming up with a new one.
At a recent Oct. 20 meeting, the 15 committee members, primarily made up of 11 students, district Superintendent Thomas Palmer said, whittled the list of 70 community name suggestions down to a final four before finally landing on the three choices.
“You want as much input as you can get from the community because you want them to feel involved in the process,” Palmer said. “I was happy overall with 70, I would have liked maybe 100, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Voting on the new name will begin on Oct. 30 via an online survey, Palmer said, with links being placed on the school’s website and Facebook page.
Community members without easy access to a computer will also be able to vote in-person by visiting the school’s tax collector window where a paper ballot will be provided.
In the selection process, the committee made a point to articulate what attributes and characteristics of the school that the mascot choices would represent.
Whether it be the “intelligent” and “strong” Nighthawks, the “loyal” and “ferocious” Wolfpack or the “intelligent” Blue Jays “soaring high” above, Palmer was happy to see the thought that the students put into the name choices.
“Overall, they did a really good job at articulating the attributes they thought these mascots would be representing,” Palmer said.
All three options lend themselves to possibly being used with the school’s blue and white colors, with the bird options also possibly allowing for the school to keep some of the former imagery.
“I think that subliminally had a little to do with it,” Palmer said. “A number of people have expressed the idea to me that the feather with the P might work with a bird.”
Other suggested ideas included “ The Macs” for macintosh apples, the Falcons and the Peacocks.
Following the voting period, the winning mascot will be announced on the school's Facebook page and website on Nov. 6.
All students in grades kindergarten through grade 12 will get a chance to vote in school in the upcoming week, Palmer said.
Once a mascot is chosen, he added, more committee meetings to determine the logos and appearance of the mascot, with hopes for another vote on different options down the line.