Totem Middle School and Marysville Pilchuck High School are selecting new mascots.
Why? When? And how will the decisions be made?
The Washington State Legislature passed House Bill 1356, which was signed into law this summer. The new law requires most schools with Native imagery to choose new mascots by the end of this calendar year and fully implemented by the end of the school year. Mascot work began at Totem Middle School in August and at MPHS in September by recruiting teams that represent the school communities - including students, parents, alums, and school champions.
Legacy work like this is done best and is most enduring when the community leads the way, so committee members are taking charge of each phase of the work. A lot of work is done with small teams of committee members who report back to the larger groups. To keep all these activities coordinated and moving forward, the district hired a pair of experienced facilitators to support the committees.
Steering Committee meetings are scheduled shortly after school to make it easier for staff and students to attend. Mascot Committee meetings are held Monday evenings to support family and community involvement. More people are involved in the sub-committee activities, and hundreds of students, family and community members have shared their thoughts through surveys.
Where is MPHS in the process and what happens next?
MPHS Mascot Committees meet on Monday evenings from 6:30-8. Students and committee members have built a list of the characteristics and values they hope the new mascot represents; they are engaged in generating the list of possibilities, will play a role in narrowing that list, and will provide feedback on the short list of ideas leading toward the Committee’s final recommendation to the board in December.
Overview of next steps for Totem Middle School:
Totem Middle School Mascot Committees meet on Monday evenings from 6-7:30. Student leaders have worked with peers to brainstorm mascot possibilities during lunches and other school activities. ASB, Totem Teammates, the Project Management Leadership class, and the Student Advisory Group for Equity are working with Principal Keri Lindsay to narrow the long list down to a top ten. The mascot committee will narrow that down to a short list and ultimately the final choice. And a Graphic Design Committee composed mostly of students will continue to lead the work this spring.