SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - A local elementary school is taking flight with a new mascot identity, its principal announced Tuesday.
Sylvania's Highland Elementary School is dropping its Indian mascot in favor of a more culturally neutral symbol. Highland Elementary will now be known as the home of the Cardinals.
"When I first came to Sylvania four years ago, the Highland mascot was the Indian; however, not many students seemed to be aware of our mascot. Moreover, it did not factor into the daily happenings at our school and was only represented on one wearable school item," Principal Mark Pugh wrote in an letter to Highland families. "As you know we have a huge amount of pride within our community not only in regards to our city and its people but also our schools. Additionally, within an increasingly diverse community the idea of an Indian as our mascot did not seem to match with our ideals or traditions."
Pugh said the effort to rebrand the Highland mascot began with the staff discussing the possibilities with the building committee. They decided to stay within the elementary theme of using a wildlife character.
"Our discussions resulted in two options, which were brought to the Northview High School art department. Working with Sylvania teacher of the year, Mr. Ryan Creech, Northview High School art students created a variety of mascot designs based on our two choices," Pugh said. "The Highland building committee reviewed the different options and decided on two designs, one that would be a character representation and the other which would function as an emblem."