Photo and video courtesy KPVI
POCATELLO — The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board of Trustees landed on a new mascot for Pocatello High School Tuesday.
Beginning June 1, 2021, when the “Indians” moniker is retired, Pocatello High School will become the “Thunder.”
Before the vote at Tuesday night’s meeting, the floor was turned over for public comment.
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Dozens of people have shown up at previous meetings, but only three people showed up on Tuesday and all had a message with a similar theme.
Randy’L Teton spoke on behalf of the Fort Hall Business Council saying, “I am here to provide the support to your efforts of changing the Pocatello High School’s school mascot.”
Another tribal member, Jessica James, who is the manager for the Tribal Youth Education Program offered her support to the board as well.
“As we know, we have … approximately 800 Native American students that attend the Pocatello school district,” she said. “So, we appreciate your efforts.”
A student from Pocatello High also thanked the board for “finally” making the decision to retire the old mascot and advocated for his choice of replacement.
“Phantoms actually do represent Pocatello High School history,” said Luke Smith. “Being haunted is our thing. It is one of our many characteristics that sets us apart from any other school.”
When it came time for the board to make a decision, there was a surprise. Earlier this month, the board juggled the idea of choosing between “Bison” and “Phantoms” as the new mascot. At this meeting, board member Jim Facer — as well as the other board members — expressed concern about choosing one of those two options.
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“I kind of worry about that down the road,” Facer said.
His proposal was to choose a third option — Pocatello Thunder. The board agreed that Thunder was the best option of the five they had to pick from. They unanimously approved Thunder without deciding on the imagery that will accompany the new name.
“I think Thunder is very versatile and opens lots of doors for lots of different interpretations depending what’s trending or what kids are excited about,” Pocatello High Principal Lisa Delonas added.
The board will now begin the process of gathering and selecting artwork and imagery for the mascot, which will keep the current school colors of red and blue.
This process, the board said in a news release, will follow the standard criteria set up by the mascot selection committee.
A look at Thunder mascot imagery presented at Tuesday night’s meeting. | Courtesy KPVI
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