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Hanover High mascot vote delayed; selection process starts anew

  • Zane Schiffman, assistant moderator of the Hanover High School Council, second from right, asks a procedural question during discussion of a proposed runoff election to determine the winning choice for a new school mascot in Hanover, N.H., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after ranked choice voting produced unclear results. The process began with 33 submissions from students and community members, but eight were either withdrawn or disqualified because they were determined not to be original work. The runoff would be between an image of a hawk or a bear that were the top two eligible designs. From left are council members Saia Patel, Pierce Siegne, Schiffman, and Riley McGuire. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Linda Addante, Hanover High School Council Executive, speaks in Hanover, N.H., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, during discussion of a proposal for a runoff election to determine a winner for a new school mascot after ranked choice voting produced unclear results. Eight submissions on the ballot were either withdrawn or disqualified because they were determined not to be original work. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/10/2021 3:29:44 PM
Modified: 11/10/2021 8:57:05 PM

HANOVER — The Hanover High School mascot search is going back to the drawing board.

At its meeting last week, the Hanover High School Council ad hoc mascot selection committee had introduced a motion for a runoff election between two design submissions, one for the Hawks and one for the Bears. But the committee revealed Wednesday that the Bears design, like eight others that were previously disqualified, also violated the submission criterion of originality.

The committee apologized for how the process was handled — namely, a lack of clarity over what would be deemed original work.

“Our vetting process to determine which submissions were valid did not happen early enough and was not thorough enough,” said Jason Hirschhorn, a math teacher and the staff adviser for the mascot committee.

As a result, the committee asked members of the council to defeat the motion for the runoff, which they did unanimously. The council, which includes students along with some adult members from the staff and community, then approved a new motion to restart the selection process for determining Hanover’s new mascot and logo. The committee will solicit new designs for the five finalists — Huskies, Maroon Crush and Trailblazers in addition to Hawks and Bears.

The committee also hopes to recruit new members and draft a voting plan to be approved by the council once the submissions are received. And this time, they will be a lot clearer on the submission guidelines so that students are not left wondering whether their designs might be disqualified.

“These mistakes negatively impacted people’s trust in the process and in the council,” Hirschhorn said at the meeting. “Mistakes also harmed the designers themselves, who had to deal with a potentially confusing and frustrating process. We are deeply sorry about all of this.”

The Hanover High Council voted in March to replace its Marauder mascot, which dated back to 1951, amid concerns from students and some community members about the symbolic and historical meaning of “marauder.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.


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