‘Chiefs’ no more -- Okemos Public Schools officially change mascot nickname

School board voted to change mascot name to Wolves
‘Chiefs’ no more -- Okemos Public Schools officially change mascot nickname
Published: Feb. 13, 2022 at 10:28 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2022 at 12:16 AM EST
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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - The school board of Okemos Public Schools voted Monday to change the district’s mascot to the Wolves.

The mascot change has been a topic of discussion for decades. The decision wasn’t made without the consideration of the students at Okemos. Superintendent John Hood asked for a committee of students from all backgrounds -- including athletics, drama and academic clubs -- to give their input.

“It was a good cross section of our students, looking at a lot of aspects of our diversity to make sure all of those student voices could have a voice in what the district’s identity will be moving forward,” Hood said.

After hearing a presentation filled with data from surveys taken by students of all ages in the district, the committee gave their suggestion based on that information.

Hood said he’s proud of the work they put in.

“They were mature enough to look at what the data was telling them, to set aside what might have been their personal favorite and look at what could be good for the whole district,” Hood said. “On the first vote, they had a unanimous outcome.”

Chris Nugent has had four children graduate from Okemos. He said changing from the Chiefs is upsetting and that more people should have had a voice in the matter.

“I’ve spoken with a lot of alumni and a lot of residents and, overwhelmingly, people did not find it as an offensive term,” Nugent said. “I don’t feel the name ‘Wolves’ is specifically linked with Okemos at all. It has no meaning to people. It’s really shameful the way it went about without a majority of alumni, students or community members really being involved in the decision.”

Update: Okemos Public Schools to reveal Wolves logo Monday

Hood said people can start submitting their ideas for a new logo. Anyone who is interested can visit the Okemos Public Schools’ official website here.

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