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Wendy Reuer, Published April 24 2012

Blue and orange Mustangs to represent Sheyenne High

WEST FARGO – Students at the Sheyenne High School here will now be known as the “Mustangs.”

The school board unanimously chose the Mustangs as its mascot and royal blue and orange as the school’s colors Monday night while also approving spending more than $1.6 million on new employees and staff time.

The district called on students for mascot suggestions earlier this year. More than 135 mascot ideas and 119 color combination suggestions were submitted.

On Monday, the board chose between the Falcons, Hawks, Mustangs, Pioneers and Sabers as a mascot. Sabers was meant to refer to a saber-tooth tiger.

Falcons was quickly ruled out, as it is Park Christian School’s mascot.

Although some board members liked Pioneers as a mascot, practicality won out as cheers and choosing an image could be difficult, board member Patti Stedman pointed out.

School board member Dave Olson said 46 students suggested Mustangs as the mascot, which is also a nod to history in West Fargo.

Horace, which is now part of the West Fargo School District, was once home to the Horace High School Mustangs.

For colors, the board chose between black and Vegas gold; royal blue and orange; royal blue and red with silver accents; royal blue and silver; and royal blue and white.

Board Chairman Ben Koppelman said he liked that the chosen option of royal blue and orange would be unique in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The board also unanimously agreed to hire an additional 14.40 full-time- equivalent staff, including an assistant principal position, for the 2012-13 school year.

Superintendent David Flowers said the assistant principal position was created for the 2011-12 school year at Eastwood Elementary School to help with the opening of Freedom Elementary.

He said he would like to keep the position to help as the district continues to grow but also as a training position for staff looking to move up in administrative roles. The position will pay $85,000 per year.

Along with the assistant principal position, which the board will reconsider keeping after two years, it approved hiring the full-time equivalent of:

The additional FTEs will cost the district $698,000 from its general fund.

“This request brings us to nearly 40 new FTEs; however, that does represent only two-thirds of what was requested,” said Human Resources Director Robin Hill.

The board also approved hiring a community relations coordinator for about $59,800 per year.

“A district of our size is, I think, conspicuous in not having that kind of dedicated portfolio,” Flowers said.

The community relations coordinator will be responsible for district communications as well as emergency management programs.

Along with the coordinator position, the board added staff in the areas of custodians, transportation, paraprofessionals and nurses for about $716,000.

An additional $99,944 was approved to add food service staff time in 2012-13.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530