Skowhegan Area High School unveiled its new River Hawks logo. Photo provided by Jon Christopher

Maine School Administrative District 54 approved the new River Hawks mascot for Skowhegan-area schools in October. Six months later, the school has a new logo to go with it.

Skowhegan athletic director Jon Christopher said students and staff at the middle and high schools overwhelmingly approved the new black and orange logo, which features the profile of a river hawk.

Once the new nickname was selected, the work began on designing a logo. The winning entry was designed by student Ethan Staples, Christopher said. Digital arts teacher Jeremy Bourque offered Staples feedback. Staples then tweaked his design. The winning logo was one of six choices sent to students and staff for a vote.

“I was trying to make it as unique as possible,” said Staples, a senior. “I’m pretty excited. It’s going to be cool to have my art in the school for years.”

The beak and eye of the bird are orange, with black and gray also incorporated into the logo. Across the top, River Hawks is written in capital letters along the contours of the profile. Below, Skowhegan is written in black letters on an orange background.

“I’ve had a lot of people tell that’s the one they liked the most,” Christopher said.

Before beginning to design the logo, Staples researched other logos on the internet, looking for inspiration. Staples said he talked to administrators at Skowhegan to get a feel for what they were looking for. The school wanted variation in choices for the vote. Front facing, full body, profile, the school wanted a cross-section of designs.

School officials retired the controversial¬† “Indians” nickname in the fall 2019 following mounting criticism from Native Americans and others that the nickname was racist. The local decision came amid calls across the nation for sports mascots and nicknames based on Native Americans to be retired.

After a year of deliberation, the River Hawks mascot approved when it was selected in a vote of students and faculty.

Skowhegan athletic teams competed as just Skowhegan for the 2019-20 seasons.

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