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Board hears of mascot plans

During the of Whitehall-Coplay School Board Jan. 8 meeting, Athletic Director Bob Hartman and Director of Teaching and Learning Renee Sallit introduced a plan for a mascot for the district, adding that grant money would allow them to move forward with making this a reality.

Hartman and Sallit explained why they felt a mascot would be beneficial to the student body and community.

For years, Whitehall-Coplay School District has not had a physical mascot at sporting events, besides just using the word Zephyr. Students and staff have suggested creating a physical mascot would give the community a recognizable symbol, increase an awareness of programs, engage the student body and staff and build an overall stronger team spirit on campus.

The board was presented with a photograph of the future mascot: an individual, with a train-shaped head sporting maroon and gold overalls. The overall visual is that of a train conductor.

The mascot pays homage to the word Zephyr, which is the name of a train that used to travel through Whitehall Township.

The mascot will be unveiled to students throughout the next few months, and students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be invited to pitch ideas for a name, in an effort to get them involved as much as possible.

The mascot costume, along with the name, will be unveiled sometime in March.

Also at the meeting, a review of the June 2023 audit, a review of the 2022-23 budget to actual and the committee fund balance resolution were discussed.

Following financial discussions, the board was presented with new course opportunities for students. The first course presented was Intro to Public Speaking.

“We feel that for students to be successful in the 21st century, they need to be able to do more public speaking, communicating and so forth,” Whitehall High School Assistant Principal Heather Hampton said.

She explained that offering this course has been a goal of the English department, but was difficult to incorporate due to a lack of staff. With a recent increase, they are officially able to go through with making it an option for students.

The second course presented was for physical education. The goal is to eliminate personal fitness and strength and condition and, instead, combine one course called Fitness and Strength Conditioning.

“We really do think students should be doing both,” Hampton said. “We want our students to be more physically active and getting involved.”

PRESS PHOTO BY HANNA O'REILLY The proposed mascot for Whitehall-Coplay School District is discussed at the Jan. 8 school board committee meeting.