MECHANICVILLE –The Mechanicville City School District will seek student, official and community input as it looks for its next mascot after a state order required the removal of nicknames, logos and other imagery related to Indigenous cultures from public schools.
“We don’t want to be exclusionary, we want to include as many stakeholders as possible,” said Superintendent Kevin Kolakowski during a presentation.
Districts must retire the mascots and logos by the end of 2024-25 school year. Mechanicville currently uses the “Red Raiders” nickname and mascot.
On Monday, Mohonasen Central School District Superintendent Shannon Shine put forward a plan to appoint a committee made up of community members and establish a period to collect public input, while giving the district’s Board of Education oversight of the process.
Mohonasen currently uses the “Warriors” moniker and has logos depicting three Native Americans and an “M” with a spear through it.
The board did not adopt the plan, deciding to discuss it further at its next meeting in August.
Kolakowski said that in mid-to-late fall the district will begin using various groups and surveys to help identify ideas for the next mascot.
“So, we need to explore the question of what qualities or values should Mechanicville be known for?” he said during the presentation.
Kolakowski said the district will use both Google forms and the platform ThoughtExchange to collect that information.
“Regardless of what our nickname is, one thing will never change, we are and forever will be Mechanicville,” Kolakowski said.
Board members attending the meeting did not ask questions or make comments following the presentation.
Three board members — Nichole Gorsky, John Tagilone and Michael Raucci — were not present for the presentation. Gorsky was the only board member to vote against the resolution to drop the Red Raider mascot.
Tagilone previously made comments that the decision to retire the name was “rammed down our throat.”
No members of the public made comments on the presentation either.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ByBriere.