Another survey coming on new high school name, mascot

People will be surveyed again next week about their choice of name and school mascot for the new high school in Minot after two school board members deemed top name choice Minot North High School “blase” or “kind of vanilla.”

Some 51.5 percent of the nearly 4,000 people who voted in the last survey chose Minot North High School as their first choice of name. North Star High School was in second place with 34 percent of the tally and Great Northern High School was in third place with 14.4 percent of the vote.

About 67.6 percent of voters liked Falcons as the mascot for the new school that will be built in northwest Minot on the site of the former Cognizant property. Another 32.4 percent of the voters liked the Missiles.

Board member Miranda Schuler suggested that people be surveyed again and asked to choose between the Falcons or two new suggestions, the Sentinels or the Jets. Several people have suggested the Sentinels or Jets because of their association with Minot Air Force Base, said Schuler. The Falcons is also the mascot of Memorial Middle School. Board member Mike Gessner, a retired teacher, remarked that he has fond memories of his time as a beginning teacher at Memorial.

Schuler said the Missiles ought to be taken off the table. Some people have expressed concerns that the name might be fodder for teasing or are concerned because it is the name of a weapon.

Both Schuler and board president Jim Rostad said Minot North High School seems lacking in originality for the first new high school in 120 years.

“I think it’s a little on the blase side,” said Schuler. “(But) if that’s what the majority of the people want, that’s what I want to give them.”

Rostad said Minot North is a little “vanilla” and he would like to see a name with a little more flavor.

The board agreed to review a list of suggestions made during the last survey and submit their responses to Minot Public Schools Superintendent Mark Vollmer by next Monday. Vollmer will then compile another online survey.

Board member Bonny Berryman, also a retired teacher, told Vollmer that the students who will actually be attending the new high school need to be encouraged to vote and offer more suggestions. There doesn’t seem to be enough input from the high school’s future students, she said.

Vollmer said he thinks it’s hard for some of those students to accept that they aren’t going to become Magicians and attend Minot High School-Magic City campus.

No decision was made about the new name or mascot on Thursday. The next board meeting will be June 9.

Voters in Minot approved a bond issue last fall that will fund the new 9-12 high school in northwest Minot along with renovation of Magic City Campus into a 9-12 high school and of Central Campus as a third in-town middle school. School attendance boundary lines are also still being worked out.

Erik Ramstad Middle School assistant principal Laura McCann will be the new head principal at the middle school next year. The school board unanimously approved her hiring at Thursday’s regular board meeting. She will replace principal Bryn Iverson, who has been hired as the new Minot Public Schools assistant superintendent of elementary schools. Iverson is replacing Tracey Lawson, who will retire at the end of this school year.


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