We’re appreciative of the school board’s decision this week regarding names, colors and mascots for the reconfigured Soldotna schools. With that settled, the board and district administration can now move on to the task of making sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
The school board’s decision was not an easy one — issues which draw strong emotional responses rarely are simple. The decision to reconfigure the schools was based in large part on numbers. When the equations involving school funding, student population, staffing and programming were no longer adding up, the need for change became obvious.
However, questions that involve things like tradition and school pride don’t have the same obvious answers. What appears to be the correct choice for one person or group of people will alienate another.
In the end, the school board adopted several of the recommendations made by an advisory committee looking into the issue, with some amendments. The new middle school will be Skyview Middle School with Panthers as its mascot, the ninth-grade house will be Soldotna Prep with the Stars as its mascot, and the 10th-12th high school will remain Soldotna High School, with Stars as the mascot. The board also approved a color palette of blue, purple, black and white for all three schools.
With the decision made, all involved can now focus on moving forward. In fact, students from Soldotna and Skyview already are working together. For example, students from both schools recently teamed up for a one-act play festival, and the student councils worked together on a holiday food drive.
There certainly will be more challenges to overcome between now and when school opens next fall. Some of them will have obvious answers, some not. With strong leadership from students, staff and administration, those challenges can be met in a way that will foster cooperation and unity among everyone involved.