Next week, the Danville School community will have a new mascot. Students are choosing from among four new names to replace the previous team name: the “Indians.”
The change is a long time coming for the Danville school community on Friday, they were much closer to a mascot they felt appropriately represents the school. Bobcats, Mountaineers, Trailblazers and Bears were the four final candidates to choose from. The vote was open only to students, pre-k through 12 grade.
“We wanted names that could really represent Danville, that were locally relevant and that could represent men’s and women’s sports equally,” said Danville middle and high school principal David Schilling.
Last year, the school board adopted a policy that prohibits quote “the use of any race or ethnic group, its traditions and customs as a mascot.” It was then up to Schilling and his co-principal to figure out next steps.
“Gradually, as people started to gain more awareness of what was going on, students started to feel less and less like they had something to rally behind. At the end of the day, kids just said we want a mascot,” said Schilling.
He and his colleagues asked the community (parents, teachers, alumni, and students) for name suggestions. Thirty-four ideas were collected before the mascot committee reduced it to four. Danville Senior Ava Marshia was on that committee.
“I think that it’s very cool and important that we have the students have their say in it. These are the kids that are going to have this mascot representating them, and something that they can look forward to,” said Marshia.
She says former Danville senior Autumn Larocque advocated for the mascot change last year as part of her senior project. We tried reaching her today but did not hear back before deadline. Ava says she’s proud of school community for making the mascot change a positive experience.
Students who were absent on Friday are able to vote on Monday and Tuesday. Principle David Schilling says the official results will be announced Thursday.