By a vote of 4-2, the Mecklenburg County School Board has given county residents another opportunity to voice their opinion about what the new combined middle and high school’s mascot should be. The three options on the new survey will be the maverick, the mud cat, and the phoenix.
At a work session June 25, Superintendent Paul Nichols said that in a previous survey including the options of phoenixes, mavericks and lake hawks, phoenixes won with the elementary and middle school vote, mavericks came in second with community and high school support and lake hawks lost. The most recent survey gave respondents the choice of the mavericks, phoenixes, or a write-in.
“That survey resulted in the mavericks winning,” Nichols said. “The phoenix and a write-in for mud cats actually came out tied at 126 each.”
School board members Brent Richey, Dora Garner, Wanda Bailey, and Glenn Edwards voted in favor of opening a new survey. Garner made the motion to put the top three choices back out for another survey after Richey commented on how the board had the choice of either ending the survey or putting it back out there, as this is the last chance if people do not like Mavericks.
After a decision at the June meeting to delay a vote on the mascot, the board is slated to vote on a mascot at the July 15 meeting. Bailey said she did not see why the division should not put another survey out since the board would not be voting on the mascot for another three weeks. Board members Dale Sturdifen and Gavin Honeycutt voted against re-opening the survey. Honeycutt said the division is about to put out a request for proposals for the building project, and the public and students have had ample opportunity to respond to previous surveys.
“Those that have done the survey have spoken, and I think we need to move forward,” Honeycutt said.
Sturdifen said that he supported Honeycutt.
“I think this thing’s been put out there,” Sturdifen said. “We’ve done survey after survey.”
Edwards raised the question of what the mascot will look like, as he said a mascot is not a name.
Nichols said the division’s contracted marketing agency will be involved in creating the mascot..
“They take what we come up with as a mascot, and they actually create renderings that nobody else has,” Nichols said. “We will own that image.”
Garner raised the question of why the mascot needs to be chosen now when the building is still two years from completion. Nichols said the marketing agency and the architect have both suggested that the division go ahead and choose a mascot and colors for purposes of creating a marketing strategy, building enthusiasm in the community, and making decisions about the school, such as naming halls. He also said that the choice of colors will follow the choice of a mascot.