The old Elkhart High School building still stands on Franklin Street. The high school was split into Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial in 1972. The high schools will operate as one beginning in the fall of 2020 and officially merge into the existing Memorial campus in 2021.

ELKHART — A survey was conducted last month to help Elkhart Community Schools determine a direction and vision for the mascot of its new unified high school and the results have been released.

Next school year, Elkhart Memorial and Elkhart Central will become Elkhart High School.

The new mascot is the lion and school officials sought the public’s input to help determine the identity of the Lion.

The survey is being overseen by a small mascot committee comprised of staff, administrators and board members with the assistance of Elkhart-based Vala Marketing.

The survey received a total of 1,901 responses, according to results released by the district.

Of the participants, 37 percent were alumni, 27 percent were students, 22 percent were parents, 17 percent interested community members and 16 percent were staff.

Participants were asked five questions and told to choose an option that spoke most to them.

The results were as follows:

• 54.8 percent voted in favor of Lions are brave and noble; 45.2 percent voted lions are fierce and formidable

• 63.1 percent voted in favor of a Lion sleeps in the heart of every brave person; 36.9 percent voted for everyone wants to eat, but few are willing to hunt.

• 68.6 percent voted in favor of while hunting in packs, Lions can take down almost any prey and defend against almost any threat; 31.4 percent that voted for a lion can quickly outwit, outrun and destroy its prey without any help.

• 69 percent voted in favor of Lions hunt in packs and are undefeatable when united over; 31 percent voted for Lions are fierce hunters at the top of the food chain.

• 51.8 percent voted in favor of the Lion pride cannot be defeated; 38 percent voted for lions are kings of their domain; 10 percent voted for a Lion pride cannot be defeated.

Other important aspects that came through from the survey were: Elkhart views itself as stronger, together; roughly a quarter of people want to honor the history of the Elkhart Central and Memorial mascots; 15 percent mention “unity” and 8 percent mention “pride.”

The school board is working to develop concepts with Vala Marketing that try to bring together the important aspects and themes that came through from the survey, according to Brenda Kolbe, communications director for ECS and  a mascot committee member.

“We believe the amount of research done prior to design will help ensure we create a mascot that helps unify our schools and community by incorporating everyone’s insight, experiences and opinions,” Kolbe said in previous reports.

Details on the completion for the mascot design were not available.

(6) comments


It seems like I remember an article on this subject that talked about students voting and then they didn't allow their choice to stand. That's a great lesson. Keep up the great work educating Elkhart.


NO kidding. Mr B should have been the obvious choice. I'm sure the "small committee" has already decided the outcome.


It's a shame we were sold on this idea in the first place.

concerned citizen

This ridiculous charade would not be necessary if the cowardly board would have simply chosen one of the existing mascots, colors, and fight song. The taxpayers, the ones who foot the bill, had virtually no say in the decision. If there is a way to make things more difficult and more expensive the school board can be counted on every time!!!!


Perhaps involving the marketing firm prior to the selection of the mascot, recruiting opinions from the public would have better served the purpose by preserving Mr. B..........


Marketing firm to pick a name for a mascot that will have NO HISTORY? Has NO allegiance? Has NO STATURE! And has NO FAN BASE! These are all things built on with history. You don't just grab them out of thin air. The powers in charge have successfully destroyed the history of 2 high schools!

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