Helmut Schmidt, Published March 12 2012
West Fargo sticks with Sheyenne in naming next high schoolWEST FARGO – School board members voted 7-0 Monday to name the district’s next high school West Fargo Sheyenne High.
Board members then unanimously approved a process to pick the school’s mascot and colors, paving the way for students south of Interstate 94 to build their own version of Packer pride.
The next high school is being created by adding to Sheyenne 9th Grade Center. Construction on the academic addition is expected to begin April 2, Business Manager Mark Lemer said.
Board member Kay Kiefer said Sheyenne 9th Grade Center was named by the public with the knowledge that it could be made into a high school.
Other board members pushed for adding West Fargo to the name to give the school a clear identity.
Board members also voted to focus that identity by picking a mascot and school colors in the next one to two months.
All middle school and STEM Center students who live in the Sheyenne attendance area (south of Interstate 94) will be asked to name their choice for a mascot and colors, as well as the reason or reasons for their pick.
Suggestions will go to a panel of southside parents and students, district staff and two board members. They will trim the lists to five mascots and five color schemes.
The lists of mascots and colors will then go to the board for the final decision.
Liberty Middle School could end up with the same mascot and colors as Sheyenne, board President Ben Koppelman said. Cheney Middle School uses the Packer steer mascot and its colors are green and white. “I would assume the same process would be true on the south side,” he said.
Elementary mascots and colors have not been as closely aligned with the secondary schools and will be picked later, he said.
The board also approved a plan to phase in varsity athletics and other cocurricular activities at Sheyenne.
Among the recommendations by the Secondary Feeder System Advisory Committee are:
- Varsity programs will start as soon as possible for each sport, but not before there are adequate numbers to support the program in feeder systems.
- For sports with safety concerns, such as football, size and maturity differences will be weighed along with numbers.
- Talented athletes living south of I-94, with permission, can play on a West Fargo High School varsity team as sophomores or juniors in sports that don’t have a varsity team at Sheyenne.
- A matrix will track potential participants in each sport or activity by year. That matrix will be regularly updated and shared with the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
- For sports or activities that don’t have enough participants to support varsity teams at both schools starting in the 2015-16 school year, co-op teams can be created.
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Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583