The Soldotna Area Schools Reconfiguration Advisory Committee met Tuesday evening to continue discussion on the topics of school names, colors and mascots.
Two groups of committee members presented their ideas on the issues at the last meeting.
The third group to present was led by Kathy Gensel. She said the group liked the idea of combining school mascots and colors, naming the 10th- through 12th-grade school Greater Soldotna High as well as naming the middle school Skyview Middle School. When it came to the ninth-grade house, the group considered Soldotna Preparatory, or giving the students a voice in the matter.
“Maybe have a student contest to name the ninth-grade house,” Gensel said.
With the conclusion of the group presentations, Doug Hayman, transition coordinator, drew a chart to help the group visualize their progress.
Common elements so far agreed upon by the committee are using Skyview Middle School for the name of the seventh- and eighth-grade school, and Soldotna Preparatory for the ninth-grade house.
The committee agreed to keep the Panthers mascot for the middle school, and the Stars as the mascot for the 10th- through- 12th-grade school to be housed at the current Soldotna High School location.
For the committee, the hardest decision was the issue of school colors. While many on the committee wanted the middle school to keep the Panther purple and black color scheme, others wanted to trim or add the SoHi blue. They same issue came up when talking about the 10th- through 12th-grade school. Many on the committee wanted to keep the colors blue and silver.
Dale Dolifka, a community representative on the committee, brought the swatches of the school colors to help the group visualize the color choices.
While much of the discussion was about what shades of blue to use for the high school, Hayman reminded the group that the ninth-grade house did not need their own specific colors and uniforms.
Hayman explained to the group that the ninth-grade house will play sports in conjunction with the 10th- through 12th-grade school.
“These ninth-graders will not have their own teams, they will all have waivers to play at (the 10th- through 12th-grade) school. There is no athletic team at the ninth-grade house,” he said. “They might use that ninth-grade house as a place to have the athletics.”
For some in the group, a merger of colors was important.
“Symbolically, when you think of merging all the colors, you really are merging everything,” Darren Jones, Skyview High School staff and committee member said. “That is a true merge.”
“If we are going to unify the community, then unifying colors just goes right along with it,” he said.
And it the long run, he said that the trimming of one color or another may not last, that can be up to the future students of the school.
“It is up to the generation to decide,” Jones said.
Hayman ask the committee to not look at it as parents and staff but as those in the schools.
“Try to put yourself 10 years down the line, think of that,” he said. “And then on the other side of your brain, think of the students who will experience the transition.”
Hayman took a vote, and although there was not a consensus of the group, the purple, blue, black and white color palette will be recommended for all three schools.
The next issue facing the committee was the name of the 10th- through 12th-grade school. Options were Soldotna High, Soldotna Central, Soldotna Unified, Greater Soldotna and Soldotna United.
The committee was not able to agree without further discussion on the name. Hayman said the name would be the top priority of the next meeting.
Due to several conflicting events occurring on the next meeting date of Oct. 22, Hayman officially changed the next meeting of the committee to Oct. 21.
Sara J. Hardan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.