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Union Seeks Input On Proposed Redhawks Mascot Design

Mascot Design by Caiden Morales

March 2022 Update

Today, it was also revealed that the winning design was created by High School junior Caiden Morales, a Union undefinedliferundefined who has been at the district since pre-kindergarten at Peters Elementary School. Largely a self-taught artist, Morales was a student last semester in Jennifer Fisherundefineds Introduction to Marketing class and is a member of UHype, the districtundefineds marketing club for students. He is also an avid student athlete in cross-country and previously in soccer.

Official Redhawks Logo Approved By Board Of Education

Union students voted decisively in favor of the proposed Redhawks logo, with 72 percent of students in grades 4-12 responding positively to the design put forth as a finalist. The Board of Education followed suit Monday night, unanimously approving the student-created design, declaring it the official logo of the District’s new Redhawks mascot.

The vote concludes a 14-month process following the November 9, 2020 decision to move away from the district’s previous mascot that had been in place for more than 75 years. One year later, on November 8, 2021, the Board voted unanimously to select Redhawks as the official mascot for Union Public Schools.

“I am really proud of the work that has been done to take us in this new direction as the Union Redhawks,” said Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler. “This stellar design – by one of our own students – will enable us to soar into the future with a mascot of which we can all be proud. I think it does a great job of capturing Union’s spirit of fierceness, while aspiring to excellence in all that we do. GO REDHAWKS!” 

On Monday, it was also revealed that the winning design was created by High School junior Caiden Morales, a Union “lifer” who has been at the district since pre-kindergarten at Peters Elementary School. Largely a self-taught artist, Morales was a student last semester in Jennifer Fisher’s Introduction to Marketing class and is a member of UHype, the district’s marketing club for students. He is also an avid student athlete in cross-country and previously in soccer.

“What got me thinking about the design was really my dad,” said Morales. “He encouraged me to do some designs on my own and submit them because he wanted the school to have a cool mascot logo. As far as my art goes, I’ve drawn since I was a kid. I only got an iPad about two years ago or so, but I’ve always done pencil and paper design. I was the kid who always draws all over their assignments at school. The iPad has opened a lot of unique opportunities for me. It allows me to paint digitally. I draw pictures that I think are cool and I also enjoy animation, being able to bring things to life.”

It was Morales’ animation work that originally captured the district’s attention, according to Chris Payne, Union’s Chief Communications Officer. “While there were a lot of design concepts in the works, we had not yet settled on anything. When Caiden sent me an animation he had created, it totally blew me away. His concept captured the fierceness we were looking for in a new mascot, and as we began to show it to Union insiders, it quickly became apparent that everyone liked it. Caiden was on to something, and we worked closely with him to develop it into the final version of the mascot that was approved. Despite being a first-time designer, his work is really astonishing.” 

Morales is somewhat surprised at his good fortune. “I wasn’t planning on being part of this process. I just wanted to draw something cool, design a little logo and give it to the district. I didn’t expect Union to really use it. I just thought they would draw inspiration from it and make something else from it. But the district went with it and now I’m here.” 

Morales believes graphic design may be something he wants to pursue as a career. “I don’t know how the saying goes, but it’s [something] like, ‘If you like what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I like what I do, so I do see how this could be a career for me.

“It feels great. It’s a big accomplishment in my life that I never really expected. To think it will be everywhere. It will be on t-shirts. It might even be put on a school building. To think I might be 50 or 40 someday and I will look back and my logo will still be here on a school building. Regardless of what happens, I want it to be a true representation of Union, one that people will really be proud of.”   

Prior to the official vote by the students, the finalist logo had gotten a favorable response from more than 1,500 Union supporters who participated in a Thought Exchange. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they “loved” or “liked” the logo that was offered up for consideration. More than 1,000 thoughts were shared, and 15,426 ratings provided.

Based on the feedback, some fine minor adjustments were made to the logo, including making Union larger and the silver color was lightened.

Morales believes graphic design may be something he wants to pursue as a career. undefinedI donundefinedt know how the saying goes, but itundefineds [something] like, undefinedIf you like what you do, youundefinedll never work a day in your life.undefined I like what I do, so I do see how this could be a career for me.

 

February 2022 Update

Redhawks Design Gets Favorable Response;
Union Moves Forward With Student Vote

Union has gotten a favorable response from Union supporters after seeking comments on a finalist for the Redhawks mascot logo. More than 1,500 participants responded to the Thought Exchange, with 75 percent saying they “loved” or “liked” the logo that was offered up for consideration. More than 1,000 thoughts were shared, and 15,426 ratings provided.

There was broad representation among Union stakeholders, with 27 percent being students, 50 percent parents, 11 percent teachers, staff or administrators, 8 percent alumni, and 4 percent community members or other.

Designed by a student at Union High School, the logo was unanimously selected by the Mascot Advisory Committee to move forward as a finalist. The proposed logo may be viewed here.

Participants were asked, “Do you think this new logo design for the Union Redhawks is an effective representation for Union Public Schools? (Please elaborate).” Union supporters were then asked to share not only their own thoughts but were also given the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others.

Among the top-rated findings:

 

  • Redhawks is, “Sharp. Looks like a strong mascot.”
  • “I like it. Especially since it was designed by a student. It shows courage, daring and boldness.”
  • “Love the intensity. I think the intensity of the eyes and the beak and the forward motoiin are great. Also love the prominent feathers.”
  • “Keep color schemes of red, silver and black” for consistency and uniformity.
  • A number of people felt strongly that the school name needed to be more prominent.
  • “It’s an aggressive logo. The sharp lines and aggressive nature is a great representation of a strong sports team. I believe it would be a motivational boost to the students.”

Chris Payne, Chief Communications Officer for Union Public Schools, said, “We are extremely pleased with the favorable response this new logo has gotten from Union fans and supporters. We have already made some changes in response to the suggestions, including making Union’s name bigger. There will also be various color options for the mascot logo depending on the background color. As a result, we will be moving forward this week with a student vote to approve this new logo among grades 4-12.”

See summary of the results.

​​​​​​​On November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of the Union Redskins mascot that had been in place for more than 75 years.

November 2021 Update

Redhawks Selected As New Mascot For Union Public Schools

The votes are in . . . and the Union Redhawks, it is! Overwhelmingly, students voted in favor of redhawks as the choice for the district’s new mascot, with 80.7 percent of students in grades 6-12 voting decisively for the red-winged predator versus 19.3 percent for the bison mascot. When fourth and fifth grade student votes were included, the redhawks received 72.5 percent of the vote, and the bison 27.5 percent.

Union’s Board of Education on Monday, November 8, voted unanimously to approve the new redhawks mascot, as recommended by students.

​​​​​​​

“We are thrilled that the votes came in so resoundingly in favor of the redhawks,” said Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler. “Part of the fun has been figuring out where we were going to land on a mascot, as we had more than 320 people make suggestions. Early on, there was a group of students who had put Redhawks forth as a possibility, and we began to see consensus building early for this name when we started looking at attributes. I believe Redhawks strongly positions Union for the future and is a mascot we can live with for many years to come. Thanks to the thousands of students and patrons who provided input as we went through what I believe was a thoughtful process.” 

Two frontrunners had emerged during the nomination process, with both redhawks and bison being suggested by a number of people. The Mascot Advisory Committee narrowed the choices down to these two finalists after an extensive public search for mascots that had attributes that most closely aligned with Union’s values. Voting took place among students in grades 4-12 from October 7 – 22, in schools throughout the district. (See the official voting results below). 

“Next comes the really fun part as we begin the design process for the new mascot,” said Union Chief Communications Officer Chris Payne. “We have an artist who is taking all of the feedback that has been collected about the desirable mascot attributes and he will create several different iterations. Once we are satisfied with the choices, we will go back out to the students and they will cast the deciding vote on their favorite design, which will become Union’s new symbol. We want to make sure this new mascot is one that everyone will embrace as we take things in a new direction.” 

The student vote came in as follows: 

School

Redhawks

Bison

             

 

Anderson

79

23

             

Boevers

74

139

             

 

Cedar Ridge

69

28

             

 

Clark

106

18

             

 

Darnaby

114

52

             

 

Grove

103

41

             

 

Jarman

110

36

             

 

Jefferson

101

26

             

 

McAuliffe

81

25

             

 

Moore

90

64

             

 

Ochoa

196

85

             

 

Peters

66

36

             

 

Rosa Parks

125

31

             

 

Grades 6-12

755

180

 

80.7% Redhawks          19.3% Bison

(Grades 6-12)

 

 

2069

784

 

72.5% Redhawks          27.5% Bison

(Grades 4-12)

 

One year ago, on November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of the district’s previous mascot that had been in place for more than 75 years.

 

October 2021 Update

Students Vote During October

Union Public Schools students in grades 4 – 12 voted on the new mascot, selecting between two choices – REDHAWKS or BISON – as being the best representative for the district. Voting will take place from Oct. 7 – 22, with the result to be revealed the following week. The Mascot Advisory Committee had narrowed the choices down to these two finalists after an extensive public search had been conducted resulting in more than 320 mascots ideas had been submitted.

After revealing the name of the two finalists on Sept. 8, the district asked Union students, supporters, staff, and community members to participate in a Thought Exchange to share opinions about the nominees. More than 9,000 people participated in the Thought Exchange, sharing 6,182 thoughts, with 90,887 ratings given. There was broad representation among Union stakeholders, with 74% being students, 9 percent alumni, 4 percent parents, 4 percent teachers, staff, or administrators, and 9 percent community/other.

Participants were asked, “Of the Top Two mascot choices – Redhawks or Bison – which do you think has the qualities that best represent Union Public Schools?” A complete list of attributes for the two mascot finalists (as submitted by the nominators) was shared here. Union supporters were then asked to share not only their own thoughts but were also given the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others.

Among the findings:  

  • Redhawks appears to have a slight edge over Bison – about a 2-to-1 ratio – among all audiences. Among students, however, the lead narrows to roughly an 8-to-5 ratio.
  • Among alumni and parents, Redhawks was preferred to Bison about 3.5-to-1. Among Union staff and community members, Redhawks was generally preferred 2-to-1. 
  • Those who chose Bison most generally chose it due to the qualities they felt were more aligned with Union’s attributes, with the most highly rated comments being:
    • “Bison embody a fierce, powerful, community-driven nature and are a strong symbol of Oklahoma and our Native American heritage.”
    • “Bison is representative of Union’s enduring spirit and the passion of our community. It is not a lone hunter. Their power is stronger as a herd.”
  • Those expressing a preference for Redhawks largely made their choice due to the “red” color and how the name sounds, with the most highly rated comments being:
    • “Redhawks: I like the consistency of ‘red’ in our mascot.”
    • “Redhawks fits with Union’s existing colors and what we represent.”
    • “Redhawks sounds cooler than bison!”
    • “Union Redhawks! It’s perfect, sounds so close to the original. Would also sound good during the fight song.”

For a complete summary of the results and a presentation, visit www.unionps.org/mascot.

On November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of the Union Redskins mascot that had been in place for more than 75 years.

Union Seeks New Mascot

On November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of a mascot and logo that had been in place for over 75 years. Now Union needs to select a new mascot for Union High School. To begin the process, we’re trying a new tool called Thought Exchange. We are already contacting students, parents and teachers via email and text message with links to Thought Exchange.

This will be an opportunity for you to share your thoughts about what characteristics and attributes you want the new mascot to have. Not only will you be able to share your own thoughts, but you will have the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others (which is where this gets FUN!).

The exchange will run through Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. We will share the results of the exchange with you. Later we will unveil a mascot application process where you will be able to share your recommendation for mascots that best exemplify Union High School and the district. We hope you enjoy this process as we work together to identify a new mascot for Union High School and the district. 

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Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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Phone: 918-357-4321

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