Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:29
Proposed policy would give board final say on any change in ‘branding’
The Northern Ozaukee School Board got a preview of what the new gym floor at Ozaukee High School will look like last week.
The floor design will come as a relief for traditionalists, since it features the familiar Warriors nickname as well as the face of a Native American ready for battle.
The synthetic playing surface will sport a new name — Coach Lee LeMahieu Court.
LeMahieu coached the girls’ basketball team to four state tournaments and a WIAA title in 2006.
Two major contributors to the new floor, Port Washington State Bank and the Ozaukee Booster Club, will also be recognized on the court.
The Ozaukee Elementary School gym floor will also be replaced in a project that is expected to cost about $112,000. The installations will be done this summer.
As the board was reviewing the proposed high school gym design, the discussion turned to a policy being considered by the Policy Committee spelling out that any change in the school mascot or nickname would have to be approved by the full board.
Although it has been the topic of some controversy in the past, there has been no recent push to drop the Warrior nickname or image, but it was suggested that the committee come up with formal procedures should such a push be started.
“It is something in the job jar for the Policy Committee,” said Board President Paul Krause.
“The way I see it, the committee is being asked to look beyond the issue of nickname, logo or even school colors. It comes down to a question of branding … how we present our district to the public.”
The fact that the Warrior name is featured so prominently on the new high school gym floor is an indication that officials do not anticipate making any changes to the school nickname in the near future.
The original floor has been in place since the school was built in 1964.
Supt. Blake Peuse said he is comfortable with retaining the Warrior name because of the approach the school has used it to promote its athletic teams.
“Ultimately, we feel very proud of our name and logo and want to display it prominently, yet still be respectful,” Peuse said.