After votes by students, staff, and community members, Paw Paw School District has announced the top three picks for the new school mascot.

The district's previous Redskins mascot had been a much-debated issue for years.

The school board voted March 9 to retire the Redskins mascot at the end of this school year, WMMT-3 reports.

In regard to the process of selecting a new name, Superintendent Rick Reo said in a release:

The process leading to the adoption of a new nickname and imagery is being led by the Paw Paw Nickname Task Force consisting of 27 students in grades 5 through 11. This group of students has devoted a huge amount of time to working on this project over the past two months. Paw Paw’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Corey Harbaugh, is the Paw Paw staff member assigned to supervising the Task Force.

When the Task Force members began meeting in March, one of the first things they agreed upon is that they did not want to adopt a new nickname and logo that would once again bring negative attention to Paw Paw and our school because of some type of associated controversy. As one student stated (paraphrased) “I just want to go out, have fun, compete in our games and cheer on our teams without worrying about protesters or arguments about our mascot.”

With this in mind, the Task Force developed and agreed upon the following essential criteria in order to assure that our chosen nickname and imagery is Respectful and Serious:

1. Inclusive

2. Non-Controversial

3. Prideful (Instills Pride)

4. Unique to Paw Paw

5. Showcases School Spirit

The top three names that are now up for consideration are: Lions, Phoenix, and Wolves.

The public is invited to submit image, logo, and mascot ideas before the final round of voting to the Paw Paw Public Schools Nickname Facebook Page.

According to WMMT-3, a meeting June 8 will announce the school's new mascot, for launch in July.

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