Since September, we've been following the process for selecting a new Pocatello High School mascot. Last month, the community was invited to take a survey about the top five choices. The votes are in and the Pocatello Bison and Pocatello Phantoms are the top two choices.
"We had another 1,163 people evaluate the mascots." According to the Susan Pettit who's the director of secondary education for Pocatello/Chubbuck School District No. 25 that's how many people took the most recent survey pushed out to the public to help choose a replacement mascot for the Pocatello High Indians. She addressed the district's Board of Trustees Tuesday afternoon to breakdown the results of the community survey.
Of all the people who voted, only 14 percent were current students. Of the five choices, the top two are the Pocatello Phantoms with 28.6 percent of the vote and the Pocatello Bison with 26 percent.
"Even though phantoms came out at the top a little bit ahead, it consistently did not meet any of the criteria that was set aside for that committee," says Pettit. She then directly addresses the board member, "So, it's your decision."
The criteria consisted of a set of questions on the survey like "Does the new mascot promote pride and school spirit... ?" and "Will it emulate positive characteristics... ?"
"The real appropriateness of it as your mascot is the real question, to me," says board member Jackie Cranor referring to the phantoms mascot. Other board members also expressed worry the phantoms mascot wouldn't fit the criteria. Survey takers also seemed to worry. Of the six criteria categories, they marked phantoms as meeting needs in only two.
While bison came in second place, Pocatello Thunder -- which would use bison imagery -- came in third. This gives bison-related mascots 47.6 percent of the total vote.
"Where everyone is someone" is a motto at Pocatello High and board members hinted that bison would help promote that idea. "This whole thing of herd, of working together and that sort of thing," says board member Janie Gebhardt. "That to me, that's what I've heard coming out of Poky High. So, those are pieces, unity pieces that I don't see in the phantoms."
During the presentation, it was mentioned that if you discount all the votes from non-community members, there is only a difference of nine votes between the top two choices.
Today's meeting at the district office was a working session. The Board of Trustees is expected to make a final selection at next week's meeting. KPVI will continue to cover the selection process.