New Mascot on the Way


Isabel Paez

North High School has been without a mascot for nearly two years. During that time, it has been often wondered what the new mascot will be.

“Who will have a say?”

“How will they decide?”

“When will we get our new mascot?”

It seems as if those questions will finally have their answer. North High will be beginning the process of deciding on the new mascot today. Those that will have a say include current North High students and staff, North High Alumni, and even students from North High’s feeder schools, which include Hadley, Pleasant Valley, Horace Mann, and Marshall middle schools.

People have been arguing about the mascot for months, some are still angry that it was changed in the first place. Seniors will also get the opportunity to take a survey during Senior Breakfast on May 10th. After the first round of submissions, there will be a more in-depth selection process.

“In the Fall, Student Representatives from various North High athletic teams, clubs, and organizations will participate in a process to identify the top 10 to 15 mascots and will be instrumental in paring down the top selections and presenting the final selections to the student body, staff, and alumni for a final vote.” As stated by an email sent out to North High Staff.

Academy 2 Assistant Principal Lisa Wyatt goes more into depth on the selection process.

“As far as the process goes, that was really designed, there’s a committee looking at it. Mrs. Wasko’s kinda the head, I say the head of it but really, it’s a joint effort. And those individuals then work through the process of here’s how we think it needs to look because we want to give everyone a chance to put forth information so that everybody can- it’s a well-discussed topic, it is also narrowing down. The process itself is good, you need to get a lot of input, and narrow it down. Have people look at that information and then narrow that down until we come to a final decision.”

As for narrowing things down, that will be a long process. Even with just the population of North High as it is right now, that is over 2,200 individuals. Not to mention the almost a hundred years’ worth of Alumni and the several hundred students who attend the feeder schools. This has the potential to reach over 5,000 people submitting suggestions.

“The committee is aware of that, that there is a large number of people that can provide input. And that’s okay because it is important for people to have a voice. It’s important for our students and staff here, it’s important for those that are coming in, and it’s even important for our seniors leaving,” Wyatt said.

Other staff and students also had concerns about the size of people that selections will be received from.

“It’s safe to say that if you were to get that amount of feedback that would be a disorientating amount of data to sort through. It would be more representative,” North High Alum and current North High History teacher Andrew McCoskey said.

He continued.

“To me, what makes North High special, because of where our school is located and who it represents. It’s the Northside of Wichita. So, I think when people say, ‘Once a (blank), always a (blank).’ right, there was a lot of pride in that, and I think a lot of people didn’t hear the problem with that and were instead just thinking I’m proud to be a northside person. So, I think, finding a mascot that allows for people to feel that way without it being derogatory to the groups that it was being offensive to, and while that sample size may create logistical concerns. Maybe deciding a new mascot should.”

CCC Counselor Rachel Schmeidler commented on the target audiences of the survey.

“I think for the feeder schools especially, it will give them a stake in North High and that will be a boost for student spirit for incoming classes because they had a part in this process.”

Seniors Allison Waldt, Maleah Evans, and Jordyn Morse commented on the issues that could arise by including such a vast and diverse population in the decision-making process.

“I think that by allowing middle schools to submit suggestions we will receive so much more anti-help than actual suggestions. I think a lot of them are going to put ‘your mom’ or something,” Waldt said.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of work and they want to narrow it down to 10-15 suggestions and that is going to be a lot of suggestions. To go through and narrow it down, I think it’s going to be more work than it’s worth. I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth and that they should have just stuck with current North High students and staff,” Evans said.

“I do think it’s important to let feeder schools get a say, they are going to be the future north high students of the future. Alumni, I’m a little hesitant about why they’re going to have a say. I think they should have each feeder school have the top three suggestions and send that in. Idk how soon they’re hoping to get this done so but that’s going to take a while,” Waldt said.

It is not known how soon the council hopes to have the new mascot decided.

Wyatt said, “I don’t believe the committee has a final timeline, at least that I have seen, not that there isn’t one, just that if there is I haven’t seen it. I think they’re waiting on seeing just how much input is gonna come and how much they’re going to have to sort.”

This news brings about a sense of excitement. The possibilities of what the new mascot could be are endless.

“I will be curious to see all the submissions and here all of the rationale. It will be nice to see this process, if you think about it, it’s kinda like the democratic process itself,” Wyatt said.

McCoskey said “It’d be great to reference the river, the city of Wichita, and though we have removed the offensive terms for native Americans, our building is still dominated in that style.”

And for those that are still coming to terms with the removal of our formal mascot. Schmeidler and McCoskey have the following to say.

“I would just encourage them to look into the inherent issues with it and just look past the 5-minute news story and why exactly it is offensive,” McCoskey said.

“Change is necessary for life, and we keep evolving and we don’t want to be offensive to any group of people. I know it was a hard pill to swallow per se, but it is something that we have to recognize that it is offensive and move towards something that is less offensive,” Schmeidler said.

For those that are flippant about voting in this historic moment for North High, remember what McCoskey has to say.

“If anyone should have a voice it should be you guys.”

Pictures of North High (Chelsia Mathew )