JAY — Student representatives from five schools in grades five through 12 worked in teams Tuesday to tally students' nominations for school names, mascots and colors.
Before they started, Jay High School Principal Gilbert Eaton asked the 61 student leaders to write their names on one side of a blank piece of paper. On the other side, they were asked to write what they predicted the name of the high and middle schools, school mascots and school colors would be. Those papers will get a closer look after students vote on their choices for each category.
“They have a daunting task to come up with names, mascots and colors,” Jay School Student Council Adviser Dan Lemieux said.
Each team would come up with a list of the top five school names, five different sets of school colors and five different school mascots based on nominations, he said.
Students spent about two hours at the Jay High School library Tuesday going over hundreds of nomination ballots.
Eaton had the ballots mixed up prior to them being divided up in piles and given to student groups sitting at different tables.
Teacher advisers representing each school had also mixed up the kids as they counted off in numbers to determine where they would sit.
Students from Jay high and middle schools, Livermore Falls high and middle schools and fifth-graders at Livermore Elementary School will vote on the top five nominations in each category on Tuesday, April 5. Fifth-graders in Jay attend the middle school.
Once the winners are determined, they'll be presented to the new RSU 73 school board that will be elected April 19.
School names ranged from Spruce Mountain High School and Androscoggin Valley Academy to Western Maine High School and River Valley High School.
The mascots ranged from the Spartans and phoenix to an eagle and a bear. There were a few foxes, moose and Trojans mixed in among others. Even a shamrock and leprechaun made an appearance.
A wide range of color schemes also popped up from red and gold to black and green to purple and yellow.
Some students have accepted the school team consolidation and others are still not happy about the decision, some students said.
The schools have been separate for so long and rivals forever, Micaela Baron and Amanda Robbins, Livermore Falls students, said.
It is different for her, Robbins said, because she is a senior and won’t be coming back to see her teams play.
But for Baron, a junior, it will be like going to a brand new high school, Baron said.
The new district will have one high school name with two campuses.
Hayley Fortier, a Jay sophomore, said initially she was more frustrated than mad about the two school boards' decision to combine sports teams as of July 1, because students were told they would be informed about what was going on before decisions were made.
That didn’t happen, Fortier said.
“Everything was done behind our backs,” Fortier said.
Eaton watched over students working in teams.
“It is really nice to see them working together,” Eaton said. “It’s all about building teams.”