AWHS families and faculty flock to falcon logo reveal

Archie+Williams+High+School%E2%80%99s+new+logo+painted+on+the+wall+of+the+main+gym+and+displayed+to+all

Alice Simenstad

Archie Williams High School’s new logo painted on the wall of the main gym and displayed to all

After a summer of fundraising, designing, and painting, AWHS proudly presented its new school logo on Monday, Aug. 9 to the community. The logo was displayed on the recently-painted gym floor, sweatshirts and t-shirts, and the AWHS sports jerseys.

The new logo is the latest development in the name change process, depicting the school’s mascot, the falcon, which was selected by the Drake Leadership Council in June. The AWHS administration spent the summer working towards the rebranding of the school’s mascot and logo, and began repainting the gym Jul. 28.

A line forms as community members gather around to purchase new AWHS/Falcon swag.

“It’s been a very very long, tedious, busy summer, I’ve never stopped working,” said Chad Stuart, Assistant Principal of AWHS. “It was a quick turnaround…school ended and the mascot was chosen [around] two days before school ended, and so we had to then design a logo, and get it approved and get things ordered and printed. It’s been a long summer of logo work.”

Private donations fund the AWHS name change process, and although the administration spent the summer fundraising for the changes shown at the logo reveal, they still have not met their goal. Slips of paper asking for donations to the Archie Williams High School Renaming Project were located in front of the gym.

“The school district is not paying for [rebranding the logo], and our fundraising group…needed to raise the money fast, and it all hasn’t been raised. They’re at about $80,000 out of the $120,000 goal, but the $80,000 has gotten what we needed [right now],” Stuart said. 

The new logo seemed to be received well by AWHS students, especially the school’s athletes after seeing

the new sports jerseys. 

Community members picking their new favorite t-shirts and sweatshirts to represent Falcon pride.

“I’m super excited, I think it’s time for a change, I don’t know if people were necessarily ready but I think for the most part people seem excited [about the mascot and logo],” said senior Lucy Johnson. As a varsity basketball player, Lucy feels bittersweet about saying goodbye to the Pirates mascot. “We played for three years under that name, so it might be a little bit hard, but I’m not disappointed or anything, it was just something we had to let go.” 

Members of the student leadership class Students Taking Action Against Racism, or STAAR, have been outspoken proponents of the name change movement. After last school year’s endless saga of advocating for the name change, STAAR students are finally able to revel in their movement’s success. 

“I’m just really happy because last year, as a part of STAAR, we were dealing with a lot of the backlash from the name change, so it’s really nice to be on the other side, and to see how all of the work we did to get this name change happen and to find a name has paid off…we have a new name, and a new logo and a new mascot, and everything worked out great,” said junior Annabelle Adachi, who is a second-year member of STAAR.

Community members (don’t have names) entering the main gym to take their first look at the new logo.

LoRayne Ortega, the advisor to STAAR, believes the AWHS community will adjust quickly to the new mascot and logo. 

“For some, it might take some getting used to, but [the mascot is] very convenient in that it has the same number of letters as the pirates…I think unless there’s just people digging their heels in about wanting to accept it, that’s the only thing I can think of,” Ortega said. 

Completed just a week before the start of the 2021-22 school year, the new falcon mascot and logo will aim to reconnect the AWHS student body after having no official school name for over a year. 

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