Finalists chosen in Watertown High School logo contest

WHS to select from four student submissions on May 19; Raider nickname to be kept


Cris Patvakanian, Raider Times staff

Watertown High School’s soul search for a new Raider is coming to a close.

On Thursday morning, May 14, class officers from all four grades crowded into the guidance office with principal Shirley Lundberg to choose the finalists for the new school mascot contest.

The submissions came from a school-wide contest in which students and faculty created and sent in their original designs. The new WHS logo and mascot will replace the Native American mascot that was eliminated from official use about seven years ago.

The deadline for submissions was Wednesday, May 13,  and the contest yielded 12 entries. Most designs were created via computer software, but a number were also hand-crafted using a variety of materials — from markers and colored pencils to meticulously cut cardboard paper. 

In almost all aspects, after the contest was launched, the process to find the perfect Raider was student driven. Besides collecting the actual submissions and making sure they met the contest rules, Lundberg and school officials respectfully took a limited role in the process.

“I want to make sure that students have ample influence over what they choose to be their next logo,” she stated at the start of the 7:15 a.m. meeting.

With a feeling of excitement lingering in the air, the class officers began the process of narrowing down submissions. Initially, all of the entries were set on the deliberation table and each one was carefully examined for its creativity, appeal, and originality. The majority of the designs had the traditional red-black color scheme and retained the Raider nickname, two factors class officers found particularly important.

“The Raider is difficult to define, but removing the legacy of that name from our mascot and school is even harder to imagine” said senior class president Kayla Johnson.

After a quiet period of observation, students opened a discussion about parts of the entries they found appealing and thought-provoking. Subtle details such as the incorporation of a “W” in an animal’s body or symbolic meanings behind mascots were among many of the highlights found in the designs.

Once the exchange of opinions was over, class officers voted for their top choices. They decided to use a tally system, and each class officer in attendance had to put one tally mark for a favorite.

Soon enough, the 12 submissions were reduced to four student submissions. A tiger, skull, stag, and rat are the main features in the logos that students and staff will vote on Tuesday, May 19, during advisory period. Until then, the designs will be on display around the school, giving Watertown High students and faculty a reasonable window of time to check out them out.

On Friday, May 22, the winning logo will be announced and a new type of Raider will represent Watertown High School.

–May 15, 2015–