Jimtown’s Jimmie got a makeover.
Baugo Community Schools flipped the switch on a newly designed website Aug. 1 after planning the overhaul for the past two years, according to Superintendent James DuBois.
At the center of the change was the Jimtown Jimmie — a hardworking guy holding a hammer who looked pretty identical to Purdue Pete, the mascot for Purdue University.
Purdue contacted Baugo school officials a few years ago and asked the school corporation to stop using the Jimmie, DuBois said.
But there’s no hard feelings.
“The new Jimmie is the updated, slick look we want,” DuBois said.
Jimmie is now less cartoon-like and more serious-looking. He also doesn't have much in the way of facial expression: He has no eyes or mouth, and just a line indicates the presence of a nose.
He was created by Scott Franko of Elkhart company Franko Design, according to DuBois.
Purdue says it has to protect its identity, and that’s why Baugo was asked to change its Jimmie.
“Trademark issues like this are not something we closely monitor, however, when it is brought to our attention, we address the issue,” Liz Evans, public information director for Purdue, said in an email to The Elkhart Truth.
Evans added that Baugo Community Schools and Purdue came to an agreement in 2012, and that agreement included a two-year phase out schedule for the Jimmie in question.
To go along with the new Jimmie, Baugo Community Schools is also trying to answer the often-heard question: What exactly is a Jimmie, anyway?
"We always said a Jimmie is a railroad person, someone who works on the railroad,” DuBois said. “Now we are starting to define the Jimmie as a set of values.”
Baugo will start encouraging students to be a Jimmie student: someone who is dependable, resourceful and thinking about the future.
Those are some of the attributes of the Jimmie listed on the school corporation’s redesigned website, but DuBois said the values are still being developed.
Eventually, these Jimmie characteristics will be on posters around the schools.
Baugo’s website redesign also includes the tagline “Small School Feel — World Class Education” and other changes to make the site easier to use for parents and staff.