When deciding upon a Mascot for our school, there were several standards that needed to be considered:
1. The mascot should not marginalize or isolate any person or people.
Because sharks are animals, this meets the standard.
2. The mascot should not repeat another school mascots in VUSD.
Because no other mascot is "Sharks" - this meets the standard (Note: The Maryland Elem mascot is "The Makos," a type of shark).
3. The mascot should inspire school spirit.
Because there are so many phrases that be created along the line of "Sharks." Such names can represent rewards, activities, school newspapers, etc. Some examples include: "Shark Bites," "The Bite," "Shark Tank," "Fin Friday," "Jaws," etc.
4. The mascot should have some tie to either our region/state; or be tied to the magnet theme of Innovation & Design.
Because our campus is located just a few miles from the ocean, and because sharks are a vital part of the local coastal ecosystem, this meets the standard. In addition, the design of the shark was so masterful that they have survived virtually unchanged for millions of years. Insomuch, the design of sharks has been greatly studied and is leading to innovative new efforts in the world. This process is called "Biomimicry" - learning how nature performs and using that technology in everyday life" (Biomimicry Institute).
5. The community should be allowed input for the Mascot.
This was accomplished by sharing the background information of our new school, the standards for picking a mascot, and many options for mascots with all Elementary families via their school "Peach Jar" account for 3 weeks. In addition, all 5th Grade families in the school district received a flier at home about the voting. Hundreds of votes were cast for the mascot, and "Sharks" was the winning mascot!