The Southern Cayuga Central School District in New York is set to adopt a new mascot, with voters in the district choosing “Cougars” to replace the previous “Chiefs” mascot. This decision comes in response to the New York State Department of Education’s mandate requiring the discontinuation of Native American imagery in school mascots by the end of the current school year.
The Cougars received 235 votes, surpassing the Knights with 199 votes and the Red Dragons with 188 votes. The district’s school board is now tasked with approving the new nickname and commissioning a graphic artist to design the corresponding mascot and logo, which is anticipated to be unveiled in the spring.
The selection process was a comprehensive effort involving students, staff, and community members through a specially formed mascot committee, according to officials.
This group established the criteria for the new mascot and facilitated the nomination and voting process. The committee initially presented three options for the new mascot – Cougars, Knights, and Red Dragons – from which the community was invited to vote.
The voting concluded on November 27, with the final tally including mail-in ballots completed by December 1. The Southern Cayuga School District’s Board of Education expressed gratitude to all who participated in this significant process, marking a new chapter for the district’s identity and community spirit.
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