They Are The Jaguars, We Are Not The Jaguars

Luci Garza, Staffer

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As LASA prepares to move to a campus in fall 2021 and leave the LBJ jaguar mascot behind, students and teachers alike are in search of a new mascot to represent the spirit of the school. In November, school members helped brainstorm the new mascot and school colors.

After sharing a campus, mascot and sports teams with LBJ for all of LASA’s 12 years, it was decided that LASA would become its own independent campus with its own sports teams after the 2017 bond was passed. LASA is scheduled to move to Eastside Memorial High School’s campus in 2021 as part of AISD’s 25-year plan to modernize schools across the district. In preparation for the move, LASA is selecting a new mascot and school colors for the 2020-2021 school year.

The sophomore Student Council (StuCo) is the main student group in charge of sorting through suggestions and brainstorming the mascot and school colors. Sophomore StuCo president Sally Edwards has been working with the school to make sure the new mascot is the right choice for LASA.

“There are two phases of the processing,” Edwards said. “First there are the nominations, which were already completed and used to find the most popular choices are most popular for each grade level. Then we have the voting process. In between these two processes is where we get the most popular ones approved by Mrs. Crescenzi and administration and then once we have a list of the most 5 popular mascots and colors, we put that on a voting form and we send that out to all of the students and staff.”

The sophomore StuCo proposed the idea of getting students involved in the selection process to Associate Superintendent for High Schools, Craig Shapiro, in October of this year. StuCo sent out the brainstorming polls and has sorted through the most popular options.

“Student Council, whose main purpose is to keep the unity of a school together, has been in charge from the start, going through the whole process of nominations and approvals,” Edwards said. “I also think that it will change the community of LASA and the way it works.”

As LASA gets closer to becoming its own campus with a new mascot and school colors, many teachers, like Electronic Magazine and Yearbook teacher Kate McGuire, are sharing their ideas about what the new colors and mascot should be. McGuire has an idea for a mascot that she said she is very passionate about and came up with on her own: the lobster.

“The other teachers, most of the math teachers really, all decided that they wanted to do the LASA raptors or have it do with math and I thought that was really dumb because why not be quirky and weird?” McGuire said. “I thought that the lobsters were a really good alternative to the weird math stuff.”

According to McGuire, LASA is a school well known for its strong academics, but athletics also plays a vital role. She said there has been apprehension from students and parents on how well certain sports teams will be able to compete after the move, and the way students choose to involve themselves in sports will fluctuate.

“Just because of the things LASA is known for, such as [academics], we do not have to be that all the time, it does not need to be a part of our mascot,” McGuire said. “We can’t have everything in LASA be about school, or we would be bullied. It should just be something to make people laugh and something fun.”

Many students are excited about the chance to rebrand the school, as it is an opportunity to show spirit for their school, according to Freshman Nhi Quan. She said she is glad for the opportunity to pick a new color scheme and mascot.

“I believe it is for the best, honestly,” Quan said. “ I am hoping to make the best of this situation by trying to be optimistic. I really like the ocelots. I like the way LASAlots and Ocelots both go together and it is honestly really genius.”

Edwards said LASA’s opportunity to choose new colors is unique, as not many schools share campuses. She believes most students are used to the community, which will all change soon.

“I think that this is going to be a really weird transition,” Edwards said. “Obviously LBJ has been in the community for so long and they have been so generous for letting us house ourselves there and also letting us share a mascot and stuff about their school, so I think coming from sharing a school to not is going to be a weird aspect of the transition as well.”

Edwards said that StuCo is hoping to finalize the mascot and colors halfway through the spring semester. She hopes to have the decision fully approved and finalized before the two schools begin to separate.

“Both students and staff of both schools are preparing for a change as the move we face moves closer and closer and anticipation begins to fill more and more of the students and staff,” Edwards said. “The mascot change is one of the first parts of LASA becoming a fully independent school.”