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SCCS Mascot Change Updates

December 1, 2023

Dear School Community -- 

Thank you to everyone who voted on our mascot finalists. We would also like to thank the students, staff, and community who took the time to be a part of the mascot committee. Your insight was extremely valuable during this process. At this time the district is completing the final tally of the votes. The final step in the process is for the Board of Education to approve the change. We anticipate this will happen this winter. 

Take care,
SC Mascot Change Committee


October 30, 2023 --

Dear School Community,

It is time to vote for the new SCCS Mascot: Cougars, Knights, or Red Dragons! Please click here for more information on the mascot choices, example logos, and the voting link. Voting is open now until November 27, 2023 at 3:00 pm. 

Every resident, student, and staff member of Southern Cayuga is welcome to vote on their favorite choice for our new mascot. All individuals may vote using the following link: (case sensitive).

Alternatively, residents will find a paper ballot in the District Newsletter which will be mailed to all residents in the next week.
The ballot can be mailed back to:
Southern Cayuga Jr/Sr High School
Attn: Mascot Committee Chair
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026
Or ballots can be dropped off at Southern Cayuga Jr/Sr High School main entrance Monday-Friday between the hours of 8am-3pm. 

The committee considered many factors in choosing the final three mascots, including:

  • SC could have a cool costume to make the Cougar mascot come to life.
  • Southern Cayuga Cougars is a nice alliteration, similar to the Southern Cayuga Chiefs.
  • The Cougars are strong and powerful.
  • There are no high schools in our area with a Cougar mascot.
Some items to consider with the Cougars include:
  • It could be misinterpreted.
  • Cougars are not naturally red, and they do not live in the Southern Cayuga area.
  • The mascot would work well with our current logo, the shield, which would bring a piece of history to the new mascot.
  • The one syllable name is easy to chant and cheer.
  • Southern Cayuga has always been a district which protects the community, students, staff, and faculty. SC is a school who is proud of its history and the students who graduate from SC. The knight represents the path of fighting the school does to protect the community.
  • Knights will fight for what is right, and everything they love.
Some items to consider with the Knights include:
  • This is a more common mascot among colleges.
  • This is a more Euro-centric mascot, which may be less inclusive. 
Red Dragons
  • The Red Dragons are strong and powerful and work well with our school colors.
  • The fiery, fierce dragon is connected with the appearance of comets, which could be connected to the Planetarium.
  • The Red Dragons are unique to our league and section. 
  • Southern Cayuga could have a cool Red Dragon costume to make the mascot come to life.
Some items to consider with the Red Dragons include:
  • SUNY Cortland is the Red Dragons.
  • A Red Dragon does not have much connection to the community.

The images below are example logos...


October 12, 2023 --

Dear School Community,

The students and staff/community committees met on October 11 to narrow down the finalists for our new mascot. The committees put a lot of time and thought into this process over the last few months and had many great options to consider. The three finalists include:

Red Dragons

All students, staff, and community members will be able to vote on the finalists to determine Southern Cayuga's new mascot. More information on how the three finalists were selected, potential logos, and how to vote will be shared with the school community in the next couple of weeks.

Southern Cayuga would like to thank everyone who took part in this process thus far, including those who nominated a mascot, and individuals who helped serve on the committee.

SCCS Administration 


October 2, 2023 --

Dear SCCS School Community,

The Southern Cayuga Mascot Change Committees would like to thank the community again for all their nominations for the next mascot. The committees narrowed the list to 11 potential finalists. There were many great choices and the student and community committees had some difficult decisions to narrow down finalists.
When the students, staff, and community on the committees met to discuss the nominations, they looked at the reasons individuals nominated the mascots, pros, potential drawbacks, and the likelihood others would see the mascot as a strong and fierce mascot. The 11 mascot finalist names are:

Comets or Red Comets
Red Dragons
Red Hawks or Sky Hawks
Red Storm
Stars or Red Stars or Crimson Stars

After taking additional time to consider the nominations, the student and community committees will meet again in a few weeks to narrow the list down to 3-4 finalists. The SC school community will then be able to view the pros and potential drawbacks of each mascot, and voice their opinion in a vote. Postcards will be mailed with the finalists, and a form will again be posted on the website for everyone to use to vote.

Take care,
SC Mascot Change Committee


September 22, 2023 --

Dear SCCS School Community,
Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a potential new mascot to represent Southern Cayuga. The committee greatly appreciates everyone taking part in this effort. Over the next month, the committees will meet to narrow down the list of potential candidates. The committee will look to select a few finalists which truly embody the characteristics of a mascot to represent Southern Cayuga with pride. The finalists will be put out to a vote to determine the official new mascot. Staff, students, and community members will receive another email or postcard to vote on their favorite mascot towards the end of October.

Take care,
SC Mascot Change Committee


September 7, 2023 --

Dear SCCS School Community,

At this time, Southern Cayuga is seeking nominations for our new mascot. The mascot committee, made up of students, staff, and community members, recently met to determine characteristics for the new mascot to embody. Please consider the following characteristics if you wish to make a nomination.

Southern Cayuga’s new mascot should:
  • Work well with our current school colors, red and white, with black as an accent
  • Be unique to our region, schools in our region encompass the following mascots: Blue Devils, Blue Raiders, Bobcats, Cardinals, Crusaders, Coyotes, Eagles, Grizzlies, Lake Hawks, Lions, Maroons, Olympians, Panthers, Spartans, Storm, Tigers, Trojans, and Wolves
  • Be relatable to students
  • Represent Southern Cayuga or our history in some manner
  • Be a strong and powerful mascot, physically, athletically, and mentally

There are two ways to nominate a mascot...

Option 1: Fill out this
 Google Form

Option 2: Southern Cayuga residences will receive a postcard nomination form in the mail. The postcard can be filled out and returned to Southern Cayuga Jr/Sr High School Monday-Friday between the hours of 8-3, or mailed to:

Southern Cayuga Jr/Sr High School
Attn: Mascot Committee Chair
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026

All nominations are due by 3:00 pm on Friday, September 22, 2023.

Southern Cayuga will continue to update the website 
with additional information as the process continues. Please continue to check back if you are interested in following the process.

Take care,
SC Mascot Change Committee


September 1, 2023 --

Dear SCCS School Community,

The student and community mascot committees recently met to determine characteristics for our new Southern Cayuga mascot. Residents will receive an email and/or postcard in the coming week with details on how to nominate a mascot, and the characteristics the committee selected to help aid in nominating. The committee will meet again after nominations are submitted to consider the nominations. Please continue to check back for additional information. 

Have a great day,
SCCS Administration 


July 27, 2023 --

Dear SCCS School Community,
As you may be aware, New York State barred the use of Native American imagery and mascots for New York State schools in the spring of 2023. Please click here for further information.  "Chiefs" is one of the mascot names banned from use in New York State that must be adjusted by the end of the 2024-25 school year.

Due to this ruling,  Southern Cayuga is seeking individuals to form a community/staff committee to determine our new Southern Cayuga mascot and logo moving forward. During the 2023-24 school year, the committee will be tasked with determining important characteristics for the new mascot, and narrowing down a list of mascots from submissions. The community/staff committee will meet on the following dates from 5:00-6:00pm: August 29, September 11 (canceled), September 26, October 11, October 30, and November 13 (if needed).

In addition to the community/staff committee, a student committee will be formed and meet primarily during the school day when school is in session. 
Southern Cayuga asks anyone who is interested in being a part of the committee to commit to attending all committee meetings. Individuals who would like to contribute to the process, but are unable to commit to the meetings, will be invited to be involved by submitting nominations and voting on finalists. 

If we have more individuals apply than we are able to have on the committee, members will be selected at random while still maintaining a balance of representative groups. Applicants will be notified prior to the first meeting about whether they will be part of the committee. 

All interested applicants should apply by Friday, August 4, 2023. The application is available on the SCCS website, or using this Google Form

Thank you,
SCCS Administration 


April 22, 2023

Last week, the State of New York released additional guidance regarding the use of Native American Mascots by public schools. While Southern Cayuga retired the chief head logo many years ago, the guidance document clearly prohibits the continued use of team names, along with mascots and logos derived from, or that have connections to, Indigenous peoples. Southern Cayuga will soon retire the team nickname Chiefs as dictated by the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department. 
Changing Native American mascots has been a topic of ongoing discussion and debate. Many people argue that these mascots perpetuate stereotypes and cultural appropriation and they can be offensive and disrespectful to Native American communities.
On the other hand, some people argue that Native American mascots are a form of tribute and can help to promote awareness and understanding of Native American culture. They contend that these mascots can be a source of pride and honor for both Native American communities and sports fans. However, it is crucial to recognize that the perspectives within Native American communities are diverse, and not all individuals or tribes share the same opinion on this matter. It is essential to respect their perspectives, concerns, and cultural heritage when making decisions about mascots or symbols that represent their identity.
The district will create a mascot advisory committee to identify a new team name, logo, and mascot.  The mascot advisory committee will include students, coaches, community members, board members, and staff in the process.  The goal of the committee is to have thoughtful conversations within our school community and identify a new symbol of Southern Cayuga pride.

Background and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Part 123 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Prohibiting the Use of Indigenous Names, Mascots, and Logos by Public Schools
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Patrick Jensen, Superintendent
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026