Friday, April 8, 2011

Great ideas for schools #9: Redesign the mascot contest

When I was a lad of 11, I found myself at an elementary school without a mascot. However, panic did not ensue. In fact, I probably didn't realize we were missing a mascot until the school ran a contest to create one.

Any student could enter, only one could win. (This was back in the days when schools received little or no pressure to abolish any form of competition.)

I made a logical choice for a Connecticut school: I drew a toucan. (And even though I didn't eat Froot Loops, you may notice a similarity there...) Then again, plenty of elementary schools have Vikings or griffins, so geographical plausibility isn't a prerequisite.

In any case, somehow, I won.

My toucan was plastered on T-shirts, notebooks, maybe mugs? This was circa 1982.

Circa 1995, my alma mater called me at work in New York City. The person had a "you better sit down" vibe in her voice.

The news: the school had decided to retire my mascot and hold a contest for a new generation. I think she thought I was going to melt into tears. Actually, I was thrilled, and also touched that they took the time to track me down to tell me.

And I later heard the winner was a bulldog. (Meaning the winning mascot, not the winning artist.)

does make sense for a Northeastern school.

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