Eagle River High School got its colors and a mascot Monday.
Following recommendation from a panel of students from four feeder schools and balloting of prospective students, blue and silver and the Wolves won out over other recommendations.
Eagle River High School is set to open in fall 2005.
Principal Natalie Burnett said the Anchorage School District Web site provided the initial forum for student requests. She then met with students at Central and Gruening middle schools and Bartlett and Chugiak high schools who forwarded their top three recommendations to her.
"They ranged from the bizarre to the already being used," she said, noting a large number of people recommended the Eagles, a name already being used by West, and the Bears, Bartlett's mascot. The third most popular was the Wolves, she said. Running a distant second and third behind Wolves were the Tigers and Titans.
She said over 100 names were recommended.
"Personally, I was hoping it was an animal because all the other district schools have an animal," Burnett said. "And being a lifelong Alaskan, I was hoping for an Alaskan animal."
Rick Sinnott, management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the decision was appropriate.
"In Chugach State Park, you have four (wolf) packs that make use of it," he said. "The one most relevant out there ranges from Potter Marsh to Ship Creek to Eagle River."
He said between the new high school and the Glenn Highway Weigh Station is a traditional crossing area for wolves.
"As far as it goes, right there (at the school site) is a pretty high-traffic wolf area," he said, although a wolf count for the park has not been funded for 10 years.
Burnett said the color vote, between purple and silver, blue and silver and red, silver and black was much closer. In the end, blue and silver won out, which works well with the school's interior colors.
"We have a lot of blue and grays and, of course, silvers in there so it worked out nicely," she said.
The selections drew mixed reactions from students who plan to make the school their academic home.
"It definitely matters what our mascot is," said Chugiak High School freshman Tae Freeman, who will spend three years at the new school. "As long as it was something that fit in with the area but stood out from other schools, it was fine with me."
Freeman was one of 187 prospective students who voted on the mascot and school colors. She voted for Wolves, but had wanted the colors to be red, silver and black instead of blue and silver.
"Blue and silver seems too much like Chugiak," she said. Chugiak High School Mustang colors are blue and black.
Freshman Joe Meyer said he is excited to go to the new school but did not take the time to fill out the mail-in ballot.
"I just don't care too much about that," he said.
That was not the case for Becca Miller, a ninth grader, who was hoping to be an Eagle River Titan. She said the color scheme was even more important than the mascot.
"I voted for blue and silver," she said. "Anything as long as it wasn't purple and silver. Yuck."
Her friend and fellow freshman Rebecca Deisher disagreed. Purple and silver was the way to go, she said.
"It's pretty," she said. "School clothes could have looked really nice."
Deisher is, however, excited to be a Wolf.
"I think that was the right choice," she said.
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