HARTFORD, Mich. — Hartford Public Schools (HPS) will have a new mascot next school year.
Starting in the 2022-23 school year, HPS will be known as the Hartford Huskies.
The district says the new moniker will replace its longstanding Indians mascot.
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HPS says the district made the decision to change its mascot after a four-phase process that involved community feedback, student input and an internal student-led mascot committee.
The first phase involved a feedback survey to all community members asking for potential mascot names. The district says each respondent could submit up to three names. The school ended up with 332 individual survey responses with 246 unique mascots suggested.
In the second phase, the Student Mascot Review Committee evaluated each name based on five criteria: if the mascot was inclusive, non-controversial, pride-inspiring, unique, and true to the community. The committee scored the names to narrow the list for the next phase.
In phase three, a vote was conducted internally, with students asked to select their top three mascot choices out of seven. The district says 624 students participated in phase three.
In the final phase, the student-identified top five mascot names were put to the community in a final feedback survey. The district says 829 people responded. The student committee then presented the Huskies at the Board of Education meeting for a final decision.