Committee embarks on journey to find new mascot

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PV Mascot Selection Committee student representative Vasili Karalewich said that the committee was able to compile 53 mascot suggestions after holding its second meeting Thursday afternoon in PV’s auditorium and through Zoom. The committee cannot reveal any suggested mascot names at this time.

Allison Varghese, Staff Writer

The new era has begun.

Fifty-three students and 15 faculty members met Thursday afternoon via Zoom to lay the groundwork for the selection of PV’s new nickname and mascot. The Mascot Selection Committee, as it is known, discussed how it will get to its end goal of choosing a new mascot after the Board of Education voted to remove the previous mascot, the Indians, in June.

These meetings are closed for non-members, but organizers John Puccio, one of the school’s Assistant Principals, and Shawn Buchanan, the Athletics Director, made themselves available for questions afterward. Buchanan said the committee has no firm timetable, but the next meeting could possibly take place on Jan. 21.

Faculty members and coaches recommended students who they feel would be a good fit for the committee. Puccio and Buchanan said the goal in choosing faculty members was to include a wide range of roles and backgrounds.

Committee members will canvas their peers and come back to meetings with ideas and suggestions for new nicknames. The committee will narrow the choices down to the top three to make this process as efficient as possible. Throughout the next meetings, the members of the committee will be bringing up names they think will appropriately represent PV.

These three finalists will be voted upon by the student body, and the winner will be presented to the Board of Education for approval. The committee will be selecting two student representatives who will give progress reports to the Board of Education.

“There are always going to be some people that aren’t happy with [the mascot],” Puccio said. “But I believe if we’re transparent and show everyone what we’re doing and give everyone an equal say that people will understand this is the decision made by the students.”

Pascack Hills will be following a similar process as Pascack Valley as it looks to replace its old mascot, the Cowboys. The two sister schools do not feel any pressure to keep the rivalry between the mascots, but instead want the process to be organic.

“Anything is on the table in regards to the possibility of the mascot,” Buchanan said. “And is the goal that we have to have a mirror image like they’ve been in the past? That is not the goal, but if that is something that materializes from the different committees then, you know, the buildings would obviously embrace that.”

Spencer Goldstein