SKOWHEGAN — The Regional School Unit 54 board of directors established protocol Thursday night for selecting a new team nickname and mascot.

The board voted March 7 to retire the “Indians” name and mascot after years of debate among community members, school board representatives, students and members of Penobscot Nation.

On Thursday night, the board confirmed the protocol would allow anyone in the community to suggest ideas for the new nickname and mascot. This includes students, parents, businesses, faculty and alumni.

No timeline was presented at Thursday’s meeting. Superintendent Brent Colbry wanted the protocol to be a separate decision. Instead, the timeline for the nickname-selection process will be on the Dec. 5 meeting agenda.

“We separated the two items to avoid any additional hangup,” Colbry said. “Once we get the protocol approved, we can discuss the timeline.”

Colbry says the selection process will begin with a brainstorming session, where the administration will accept suggestions. From there, the administration will filter out nicknames that violate school policies and laws, and then produce a list of what remains.

Once the list of nickname suggestions is complete, the administration will hand it over to two subcommittees made up of board members. Each subcommittee will be expected to narrow the list to between three and five options. Both committees must agree on the list to move forward.

Once the narrowed list has been generated, each subcommittee’s list will be presented to students in grades six through 12.

“The youngsters will give us feedback in a ranked order to give us a sense of what they want,” Colbry said.

After students provide feedback on the list of potential nicknames, the list will go back to the subcommittees, which will narrow the list to three nicknames and then present it to the board for a final vote.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Skowhegan Area Middle School cafeteria.

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