NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – The list of new Algonquin Regional High School mascots has been narrowed to five options – the Eagles, Falcons, Nor’Easters, Thunder and Titans.
“After more than 1,300 responses to a survey of the community, thousands of interactions through polling on social media and opportunities to speak with students, we were able to synthesize the responses and reduce the mascot options to five,” Assistant Superintendent Keith Lavoie wrote in a letter to families on Nov. 29.
The Regional School Committee voted to retire Algonquin’ former mascot, the Tomahawk, earlier this year.
A group of students and community members have since worked as the Mascot Renaming Study Group to collect and refine a list of potential mascots while gathering feedback at various points.
The group’s most recent survey sought to help narrow that list from nine previous options. Now gone are the previously included options of the Golden Falcons, Navigators, Owls and Trailblazers.
Superintendent Gregory Martineau will soon join the group in presenting this new list of options to the Regional School Committee for their approval.
Students will vote on an approved list in January.
In the meantime, the study group will finalize renderings of the five options to be presented to students before they vote.
“Being able to visualize what the mascot will look like has always been a critical part of the process and will be required with enough time to process before the vote occurs,” Lavoie said.
This is the latest step in an ongoing process that kicked off months before the Regional School Committee’s vote to retire the Tomahawk mascot in April.
Some have raised questions about the process of retiring and replacing the mascot, with some in town particularly arguing for the Tomahawk mascot’s reinstatement.
School Committee member Daniel Kolenda discussed that option at a school committee meeting earlier this month, asking if voices advocating for the Tomahawk mascot had been included in the renaming study group’s discussions.
School Committee member Karen Ares, who also serves on the study group, said the group had discussed the option of keeping the Tomahawk mascot. They decided, though, that such an option was outside the scope of their assigned task.
“I would suggest that they’ve been told that we voted the Tomahawk out,” fellow School Committee member Paul Butka said in response to Kolenda’s question. “If they were talking about the Tomahawk, there would be some level of time wasting on their part. They’ve been told it’s gone.”