By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH — From the Eagles to the Coyotes, a committee recently heard several options for a new Algonquin Regional High School mascot.
The high school launched a survey last month asking people what should replace the recently retired “Tomahawk.”
That survey came after the Northborough Southborough Regional School Committee voted to retire the mascot in April.
The Mascot Renaming Study Group recently met and reviewed the mascot suggestions, according to an update provided to the community by Assistant Superintendent of Operations Keith Lavoie.
According to Lavoie’s update, Jake Messier of HEARD Strategy and Storytelling analyzed and summarized the results of the renaming survey.
Meeting minutes further indicate that 680 people — including current and former students, parents, alumni and teachers — responded to the survey.
The data analysis, which was provided in the Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough’s update, indicated that the top suggested mascot was to keep the Tomahawk, with 99 votes.
The next highest mascot was the “Thunderhawk” with 67 votes. “Hawks” received 44 votes. “Eagles” saw 40. “Coyotes” had 15 while “Bobcats” had 13. “Wolves” had 11, with “Foxes” getting 10.
Other options — like “the Bears” and “Flames” — received single-digit vote totals.
“[Messier] shared his opinions on each of the top-ranking mascot options, including which were the most appropriate and suitable,” Lavoie wrote in his update.
“This does not eliminate any option, but gives the group reasons to consider,” the meeting minutes note.
Messier asked the group to take time until their next meeting in September to review the data and draw their own conclusions.
“I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of the working group,” Lavoie said. “[ARHS Principal Sean Bevan] and I are optimistic that their thoughtfulness and dedication to our school’s past and future will result in the development of exciting mascot options this fall.”
According to Lavoie, the Mascot Renaming Study Group has the charge to undergo the process of coming up with two to three options for a new ARHS mascot.
The options will be taken under consideration by the Regional School Committee before the student body makes the final vote.
Lavoie said the committee agreed that the mascot should meet several criteria, including that it should represent the ARHS community and/or the environment, specifically represent both Northborough and Southborough, be easily identifiable and unique to the region, reflect ARHS’s school colors, project a positive image and be able to be applied for all activities and not appropriate any cultures.
The committee also wanted the mascot to reflect either one or more of several attributes, including unity, strength, courage and dignity.