WFISD finalizes new high schools mascots and colors

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls School Board meeting at the WFISD Education Center was held on March 20.

They are discussing possible actions to be taken on multiple Wichita Falls ISD staff, from reviewing evaluations to determining possible reassignments, renewal of contracts, discipline, or dismissal actions as well.

The board is also consulting with their district attorney concerning legal issues related to bond issuance and expenditure as well as legal issues related to the new high schools’ mascot and school colors.

A lot of public comments took place during the open session of the meeting in regard to the new mascots and school colors. There were people vouching to keep the old mascots and colors wanting to keep the tradition that generations have gone through, saying changing it would diminish the history that was built over so many years, and also questioning the process in which the new mascots and colors were chosen. Some of those who spoke in the open session are calling for an election to be held that everyone can vote on.

Other people in the meeting said the voting process was fair, and the kids who will be going to the new high schools voted on what they wanted. They say that decisions shouldn’t be taken away from students by alumni and that the board shouldn’t have to continue to go back and forth on this when the future of the kids’ education should be the number one priority.

After hours of discussion following public comment, the WFISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to keep the new mascots and colors for the two new high schools as the Legacy Leopards and Memorial Mavericks.

After confirming that the district is not legally permitted to hold a special election for purposes of determining school mascots, the board chose to keep the leopards and mavericks for multiple reasons, but one big one.

“This issue had been settled a year and a half ago and so a big part of the decision tonight came into effect that a committee was formed, they came and reported that information to the board,” Dr. Donny Lee, superintendent for WFISD said. “If the board went back on that information, it sent a message that their word, their opinions, their work was not valued.”

Dr. Lee says the board heard and valued the input from the community, but following their decision, it is time for everyone to move forward together.

“We are moving forward a united board, a united team of 8,” Dr. Lee said. “We hope that the community puts this to rest, that we are excited looking toward the future. We are not looking behind us anymore. We have put this issue to rest.”