The Cooperstown school board has decided to consider input from alumni and community members before deciding whether to change the school’s nickname.
This is a departure from a previous plan to select a name from three finalist in a student vote.
Board President David Borgstrom said his immediate concern is to make sure that the board members had a chance to reflect on the large amount of public response about the issue at a Feb. 6 meeting, and to make sure all parties felt like their opinions have been heard. Superintendent C.J. Hebert said the district has received a number of emails regarding the nickname since the meeting.
“The thing we heard, loud and clear, was that we need to listen to everyone,” Borgstrom said.
More than 100 people, including students and alumni, attended the meeting. Impassioned speeches were made on both sides of the issue, and the public comment section of the meeting lasted nearly two hours.
Five names that received the most student votes were Coyotes, Deerslayers, Hawkeyes, Pathfinders and Wolves.
According to Borgstrom, there is no timetable for making a decision, and the possibility of keeping the Redskins name is not completely off the table.
“I am not sure I can say what we are going to do and when we are going to do it,” Borgstrom said. “We don’t have another board meeting scheduled until next month. The board will be making a decision at some point. We are not going to leave the issue hanging around.”
Hebert said Tuesday that members of the board’s public relations committee plan to meet with representatives of the alumni association on Friday.
“There were some alumni association members who made some presentations at the board meeting,” he said. “The board has decided they would like to include them in the conversation.”