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Watkins Glen introduces Lake Hawks as new mascot amid statewide changes

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Watkins Glen High School in New York has introduced “Lake Hawks” as its new mascot, replacing the long-standing “Senecas” nickname.


The change comes after the New York State Board of Regents banned names, mascots, and logos with Indigenous ties in April, giving public school districts until the end of the 2025 school year to implement changes.

Watkins Glen’s transition to the new mascot was swift, taking less than four months, but not without challenges. Despite receiving a letter from the New York State Department of Education last November, the school initially continued using the Senecas nickname while avoiding Indigenous imagery. A full change was later enforced by the state.

The decision to adopt the Lake Hawks nickname was student-led, with nearly 700 suggestions received over two weeks, and almost 400 votes cast in the final round, resulting in the selection of Lake Hawks by a margin of about 60 votes. An osprey, a bird connected to the region and found on the school’s premises, is the foundation of the Lake Hawks logo.