MONROE – The Union County Board of Education is scheduled Nov. 5 to discuss adopting a new identity for Parkwood High School. Cost may be a factor when it comes to approving the school’s recommendation of Wolf Pack.
The school board decided in July to drop the Rebels identity due to its connection to the Confederate States of America. Parkwood used to have a Confederate soldier as a mascot, but in recent years, the school dropped the mascot and just went by the Rebels in name only.
Board members stopped short of removing the sword and shield logo in hopes the school would adopt a mascot that incorporated those same elements as a cost-saving measure. District staff estimated at the time that a new logo in addition to the mascot would push the cost of changing uniforms and facilities from $42,800 to $192,000.
A school committee that included three students, the principal, a teacher, a parent, a community member and three members of the site-based team considered options such as Raiders and Patriots in September but decided on a complete rebrand.
District attorney Michelle Morris approached the Strategic Planning, Technology and Transportation committee Sept. 23 to get clarification on whether the school had to use the logo. Committee members told Morris they preferred to keep the logo because it was adopted in recent years and did not have any offensive elements.
School board member Jimmy Bention told Morris during that meeting that he would prefer the school not be hampered by the board and arrive at their own decision. That’s exactly what they did.
At the Oct. 28 SPTT committee meeting, Morris said 701 students, or 67% of the student body, took a survey on their preference of a new mascot. Wolf Pack won over Grizzlies by 57.2% of the vote. A variation of the preferred nickname would be the Parkwood ‘Pack.
“I really wish a little bit more consideration would have been to keep the existing graphics that was mainly from a cost perspective,” school board member Joseph Morreale said. “In seeing the process play out and all the work and effort that went into it, I’m in favor of the recommendation.”
The SPTT committee voted to bring the recommendation to the full board during the Nov. 5 meeting.
The board will make the final decision as well as how the change gets funded. One idea that has been floated around is the school or its boosters would have to raise money for some of the costs.