Rebels out, Hawks in: Students choose new Hays mascot

HAYS CISD — Hays High School will see a new mascot beginning the 2021-2022 school year: the hawks. While there were several enticing options, including dragons and honey badgers, hawks was the favorable choice with 461 votes.

Waiting for months to see a change, current 9th and 11th graders along with middle school students in the feeder pattern nominated and voted for their mascot choice in early January. A total of 1,453 students voted. Raptors came in second with 376 votes then dragons with 267, honey badgers with 191 and hornets with 157. 

The next steps in the mascot timeline include conversations with the district’s graphic design and branding partners. School colors will remain red and blue yet the school will need to order new uniforms and change signage, following the selection of a new logo and branding package.

While the mascot change was estimated to be as high as $800,000, the district hopes the transition could be completed at a lower amount. Band and athletic uniforms will take up a bulk of the expenses. The district plans to incur the uniform replacement costs for the upcoming school year and then return to a staggered schedule over time. Other large, one-time expenses include: replacing the school’s gym floor logos, equipment vehicles and front entrance marquee.

The funding will come from the district’s operating budget or fund balance.

Hays CISD’s Hemphill Elementary does use the ‘hawks’ as its mascot, but the district does not anticipate any conflict as it does not feed into Hays High School. Hemphill will remain the ‘hawks.’

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Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring is nearing one year at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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