NORTHBOROUGH – The process of choosing a new mascot for Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) is winding down. As such, the Regional School Committee recently discussed the next steps to take once that mascot is actually selected.
“We are in the home stretch of the mascot process,” ARHS Principal Sean Bevan said during a Jan. 19 Regional School Committee meeting.
The committee voted to retire the former mascot, the Tomahawk, back in April of last year.
The Mascot Renaming Study Group has been working on coming up with options for a new mascot ever since.
In December, the Regional School Committee accepted the five final options, which include the Eagles, Falcons, Nor’Easters, Thunder and Titans.
Bevan said the school is organizing a school-wide vote on those five options.
Once the school has the results, staff will reveal the new mascot in a livestream with the help of Northborough Cable.
Bevan discussed ways that Algonquin students are getting involved in the process of selecting the next mascot.
“Every time that we engage students in this work, it reminds us how important it is to gather student voices as a part of choosing the mascot,” he said.
Particularly, he said, the school’s Sports and Entertainment Marketing class was working on creating campaigns for each of the five mascot options, including a slide deck for their peers describing the brand attributes of each possible selection.
The school revealed a separate set of slides created by its Social Media Marketing class on Wednesday through its Instagram page.
Students will now vote to choose the new mascot on Friday.
Under normal circumstances, the winning mascot would then be revealed during a live, in-person event.
“That just doesn’t appear to be in the cards currently, and I don’t know that we want to wait until it does,” Bevan said, however. “We want to have a mascot that we can rally around sooner rather than later.”
Northborough Cable is working to capture footage of students sharing what they love and will remember about ARHS.
Those remarks will be shared as part of the livestreamed reveal of the mascot.
After the reveal
The school is working on developing a “robust” graphics package that could be used by ARHS’ various teams and clubs, Bevan said.
He has also been working with youth sports leagues in town, which still use the Tomahawk mascot, to share some of those materials.
“I think that will help unify the brand and will help get younger kids to identify with a new image associated with Algonquin,” Bevan said.
Once a mascot is chosen, staff will then start the work of ordering uniforms, flags and decals to replace current materials on a cycle aimed at not being “unduly financially burdensome,” Bevan said.
Bevan is working with the Algonquin school store to accept some pre-orders of apparel that could be ready the day after the school reveals the new mascot.
“It’s like the Super Bowl,” said Regional School Committee member Karen Ares, noting cases where championship apparel gets printed for both teams playing in football’s big game.
“I think that would reinforce the excitement,” Bevan said. “There are a lot of people who are really excited to turn the page on this.”