New York High School Moves on From Offensive Mascot

Andy Berg Headshot

John Jay High School in the Katonah-Lewisboro (N.Y.) School District has decided it’s time to move on from its Chief Katonah mascot and Indians namesake.

After considering a change to the Statesmen, the school decided it also didn’t want a gender specific mascot. Nor did it want something like the Tigers or Panthers.

“We wanted something that had a link to the area, if possible, because we thought that would give it a little more substance,” Christian McCarthy, athletic director of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District told the Katonah-Lewisboro Times. “There aren’t any tigers around here.”

A Mascot Steering Committee made up of administrators, coaches, teachers, parents and students from both the high-school and middle-school levels was put in charge of deciding on a new name and mascot. 

The committee managed to narrow the finalists down to Wolfpack and Ravens. A few other finalists were Hawks and Raptors, McCarthy revealed.

Wolves received the most submissions, as the school is just down the road from the Wolf Conservation Center. However, that name was already in use by Gorton High School in Yonkers.

“We didn’t want to double up on something that was already in the area,” McCarthy said. So, the committee settled on Wolfpack and Ravens as finalists.

An online vote was held on June 22 and about 2,300 people were eligible to vote. The results will be revealed later Thursday so as not to overshadow high school and middle school graduations. 

“The vote on Monday in no way detracts from all the other work that’s necessary and important at the moment,” superintendent Andrew Selesnick said. “It also doesn’t detract any financial resources from all of the other important work that has to go on as we prepare both to finish this year but prepare, importantly, for the summer, including reopening, we hope, in the fall.”

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