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Watertown High School students select a new mascot

The name change came after the Board of Education decided in January to retire the old mascot.
Credit: Ingest
Big empty classroom at modern school

WATERTOWN, Conn. — The athletic teams at Watertown High School will now be known as the Watertown Warriors after students overwhelmingly voted for the new name. The change comes following a month-long process by the school and its students for a new name.

Earlier this year, the Board of Education voted to retire the Watertown High School Indians mascot. The decision came after a “year-long journey of learning about Native American history, examining the Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities policies and listening to the many passionate and heartfelt voices during public comment,” the school said in a statement this week.

“The selection process for a new school mascot is just as serious as it is joyous,” Superintendent Alison Villanueva said in a statement on the school’s website. “It is a process that our district thought about with extreme care at every step, seeking input from within our schools and the wider Watertown-Oakville community.”

RELATED: Push for Native American curriculum in schools makes gains

A committee was formed to aid in the process of selecting a new mascot.

The superintendent said the brainstorming process was opened to students grades 8-12 so that officials could receive input on a new mascot. This spring, the high school received more than 110 submissions and a first vote took place to pare down the list to 15 choices.

“We are reviewing our curriculum to see where the history of Native Americans, and a deeper exploration of our own local communities' history could be interwoven throughout our existing social studies curricula,” said Lisa Fekete, the director of curriculum and instruction. “We are excited to share more about this work as the curriculum unfolds over the course of the next three years, so that all of our students benefit from the rich history of Native Americans and the Watertown community.”

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This month, students and faculty cast another vote to narrow the top 15 choices down to five: Blackhawks, Warriors, Tigers, Wolves and Wildcats. Ultimately, Warriors was chosen by a substantial margin.

The name was revealed via a short TikTok video this week.

RELATED: Farmington High School reveals new River Hawks logo after mascot change from Indians

The next step is the design of the new mascot logo. School officials said a graphic design contest will take place next spring.

“It will take time for our students to come to a final design that we can all call our own,” said Villanueva. “That will naturally take time, and we are eager for the day when, as Watertown High School Warriors, we continue to make more memories when we attend athletic games, proudly watch our students walk the stage during graduation and during other momentous occasions that take place over a student’s academic career that we take with us into the future forever.”

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