What will it be? Turners Falls logo vote to begin

  • Turners Falls football players run through a walking pushup drill. Recorder file photo

  • Turners Falls’ Peyton Emery throws a pitch to Mount Everett in their Western Mass division III championship game at UMass’ Sortino Field Saturday, June 10, 2017. Recorder file photo

Recorder Staff
Published: 4/25/2018 5:59:48 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Will they become the Powertown Chargers, Raptors or Thunder?

Students and the community will have a chance to indicate their choice for Turners Falls High School’s new mascot beginning today. Voting is open through May 16.

In a letter written to the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee by task force member Christine Bates, the task force acknowledges “the difficult transition of our alumni, community and students” and recognizes that change is hard.

“We place before you a list of three names with our understanding that “Go Powertown” will always be part of our narrative,” continued the letter.

The school district has been seeking a new symbol for its school and sports teams following the School Committee’s abolishment of the longtime Indians mascot in Feb. 2017. This followed months of heated public debate beginning in 2016 in which community members argued whether the mascot was culturally insensitive.

Voting

Those interested in casting a vote may do so in multiple ways. The task force will accept paper ballots via mail or ballot box or votes via Google Poll.

Raptors, Chargers and Thunder will be the only three options with no write-in option.

Parents and families of current Turners Falls High School students will receive an email with a link to the poll, and others can access the poll by visiting vote.tfhslogo.com, emailing submissions@tfhslogo.com or visiting the Logo Task Force Facebook page.

Those who wish to cast a ballot the old-fashioned way can access ballot boxes in Montague, Gill and Erving at the senior centers and libraries. Ballots can also be mailed to P.O. Box 514 Turners Falls, MA.

Students will be handed paper ballots during their study period. Fifth- through 12th-graders in Montague, Gill and Erving are eligible to cast a vote.

After voting is closed midnight May 16, the task force will meet May 17 to count paper ballots, tally online votes and declare the winner. On Friday, the school committee will meet briefly to ratify the choice.

The poll requires the voter’s first and last name, a choice of one of the three mascot options and disclosure of the voter’s identification as either a resident of one of the TFHS towns, a parent or alumnus. Each person can vote once.

Next steps

After the new nickname is finalized, a visual representation will be considered.

At Tuesday’s school committee meeting, task force members distributed a sheet of paper that displayed potential art for the mascot. Some were custom illustrations, others were simply art from the internet.

Task force member Alana Martineau mentioned to the committee that each of the finalists has the potential to be illustrated various ways. For example, a raptor could be depicted as either a dinosaur or a bird.

After the winner is selected, students and other residents can submit art. It has not yet been determined how the decision process will work for the art.

At the end of the logo discussion, the school committee gave a round of applause to the task force and lauded its dedication. Committee member Mike Langknecht called the task force “a very effective bunch” who “got done what needed to be done.”

While some task force members say their work is done after the May 16 vote is over, some still plan on staying on the task force to see the art selection through.

“I think there are a few of us on the task force that are committed to seeing the process through,” Martineau said.

Reach Christie Wisniewski at: cwisniewski@recorder.com

or 413-772-0261, ext. 280


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