By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – Algonquin Regional High School is looking for community feedback to help further narrow its options for a future mascot.
The Mascot Renaming Study Group previously narrowed the list of potential mascots to nine options — including the Eagles, Falcons, Golden Eagles, Navigators, Nor-Easters, Owls, Thunder, Titans and Trailblazers.
The group has since created a survey, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/nw6bb7r4, to further reduce the number of mascot options that will be voted on by the school student body.
“All of the mascot options listed have met the criteria for selection and have been supported by local Native American leadership,” the group said in an email to families.
The survey comes after the Regional School Committee voted to retire the high school’s former mascot, the Tomahawk, earlier this year amid concerns about cultural appropriation and the use of native American imagery as school mascots.
The study group has been working on selecting a new mascot since that decision, with the school launching a survey over the summer asking the community what they thought should replace the Tomahawk.
The top suggestion on that survey was to keep the Tomahawk, with 99 votes, followed by the Thunderhawk at 67 votes.
However, the option of “Thunderhawk” was later removed from consideration after the study group determined it didn’t meet its criteria for a new mascot. Nipmuc Nation spokesperson Brittney Walley told the group that Thunder Hawk was the name of two significant Native leaders, meaning the name could be seen as cultural appropriation.
The deadline for this survey is Nov. 19.
Once the current list is reduced, the study group said, the group will “engage with a branding consultant to conduct a deeper dive into the mascot options and produce visual representations of what each mascot options would look like.”