By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
SAVANNAH - Online voting has started for a new school mascot at Savannah.
Savannah parents, community members and alumni are invited to choose from five mascot designs in an online survey. The five choices were narrowed down by the school board in December after a total of 83 submissions.
New mascot designs were submitted by students, community members and alumni.
"We really truly had submissions from all of those areas," Savannah district spokesperson Jess Gillett said. "It was really kind of fun to see. We have several alumni who are now graphic artists and we got things on that end of the spectrum all the way to submissions from young elementary students. So, that was fun to see."
Any submissions with copyrighted imagery, or anything that had negative connotations, were thrown out. Students eventually narrowed it down to their favorite 10 submissions with a vote. That 10 was then narrowed down further to five. The final five were presented to the board in December.
"Students voted on the top 10," Gillett said. "Taking the top 10 to their favorite five. That's what went to the board last month, and the board was in agreement that those top five were good and we could move forward and that's where we are now."
Voting on the mascot opened Monday and will close on Friday, January 14. Students and staff members are voting on campus. The five new mascot choices can be viewed here. Savannah parents, alums and community members can vote online here.
The school colors and the name "Savages" will be retained. The Savannah school board voted in April of last year to retain the Savage name, but phase out the Native American imagery and symbolism associated with the mascot.
A final decision on the new mascot imagery will be announced after the next board meeting on Thursday, January 20.
Once the new mascot is chosen, Gillett says the final and biggest step will be replacing the equipment and uniforms that bear the original mascot.
Gillett reiterated, just as the school board did at the time of their vote, not one cent of the school district's budget is going toward the mascot change. Instead, as it becomes necessary to replace items, the updated imagery will be used.
"Uniforms are on a five-year rotation," Gillett said. "So, when it's time for those uniforms to be replaced, we'll simply put the new mascot on the new uniform and move forward. And that's true of everything in the district. Gym floors, things like that. They'll just be replaced as they were already scheduled to be updated or replaced."
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