BETHEL — Some students and staff members at Telstar Regional High School believe it’s time to change the school’s mascot from Yosemite Sam, the symbol used for the past 40 or so years.

“It’s a good idea. We’re due for a change,” sophomore class President John Walker said. “I think a new mascot would be a burst of life for school spirit.”

When the school was built in the late 1960s, athletic teams and others at the school were known as the Telstar Satellites, named after the satellite station in Andover. A few years later, the Telstar Rebels athletic teams adopted Yosemite Sam as their mascot.

Principal Dan Hart said the district had to pay license fees to Hanna-Barbera Productions to use the name and to sell items with the cartoon character on them.

He said the district stopped paying those fees years ago, but could continue to use the name as long as Yosemite Sam’s image was not sold in any form.

Hart said it’s time to modernize and energize the mascot and the school.

“We want a more current, positive mascot,” Hart said.

Plans are to continue using Rebels for team names and to keep the T-star image.

A meeting with staff and students is planned for March to discuss the possible change. A survey of students, staff and parents is also planned to get opinions.

Meanwhile, anyone with an idea for a mascot is encouraged to submit a drawing, Hart said. Entries may be left at the high school office during regular hours, or mailed to Telstar Regional High School, Walkers Mills Road, Bethel, ME 04217. Ideas and designs may also be sent to [email protected]

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