Students Leave Their Mark by Establishing School’s First Mascot

Students Leave Their Mark by Establishing School’s First Mascot
Ben Kethcum - RPDS Head of School, Lily Indelacato Grace Ross and Leslie Prohaska - Director of Upper School.

Last spring a group of rising 6th grade students came together over the common idea that they felt their school needed a mascot. Rising 6th graders Lily Indelacato and Grace Ross started discussing with some of their peers the need for their school, Riverside Presbyterian Day School, to have a mascot. Grace Ross said “We all felt like we needed to have something that represents our school, that would bring us all together, and be something to root for with our different athletic teams.” The group of 6th grade girls devised a plan to email RPDS Head of School, Ben Ketchum to pitch their idea to search for a mascot for the school. Lily Indelacato explains that “it was a little nerve racking to email the Head of School but I knew I had the support from my peers and we were just so passionate about our idea”.

When the 2020-2021 school year started, the group of 6th grade students met with Mr. Ketchum and Director of Upper School, Leslie Prohaska to discuss how to move their proposed mascot search forward. Together, the group planned a mascot election where they would encourage the entire school to propose mascot candidates, students would campaign for their candidates, and then ultimately vote for their favorite mascot. As the RPDS mascot election began some of the top candidates that surfaced included the ravens, river dolphins, rams and raptors. Hand drawn posters began popping up on classroom doors, in the hallways, and all around the school campus. Once the mascot candidates had been narrowed down, every student, faculty and staff member at RPDS was able to cast their vote on the official RPDS mascot ballot. After all the ballots were turned in and accounted for, the school community had to wait for the votes to be counted and the winner to be announced.

On May 4th, RPDS held their annual Gratitude Walk, an event where our 6th grade class walks around the school track as underclassmen line the track cheering, clapping and holding signs to show how much they love, appreciate and will miss the graduating class. Mr. Ketchum and Mrs. Prohaska thought the morning would serve as the perfect occasion to announce the new RPDS mascot and celebrate the leadership and hard work the 6th grade class displayed in leading the mascot election. As the entire student body created a drumroll, Mr. Ketchum explained that “the winner of the RPDS mascot election is the rams!” The students erupted with excitement and applause. When asked how it feels to see their idea and year of hard work produce their school’s very first mascot, Grace Ross said, “It feels like we did something that really helped our school and that’s exciting. Finding a school mascot was a way our 6th grade class could leave our mark even after we graduate.” Lily Indelecato explains, “It was something positive in a very different school year and something for our entire school to be excited about.”

With the winner announced the school will spend the summer months designing the ram mascot so the RPDS Rams can be in full force for the upcoming school year. Looking back on the mascot search, Head of School, Ben Ketchum explained, “I’m proud of Lily, Grace and the entire class of 2021 for not only identifying a need within our school, but also for taking the initiative and displaying strong leadership qualities in providing a plan of action and guiding our entire school to this special moment in our school’s history.”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)