WALTON — Parents, alumni and other members of the Lewis Cass community are rejecting the proposed rebranding the school is trying to undertake.
The goal of the rebrand is to refresh and update the current Lewis Cass Kings logo, but the looks of the new design and the process that went into designing it has many associated with the school reeling.
“Nobody wanted these changes,” said Lisa La Mar, class of ’87. “It seems like there are people at the school on a power trip. First they change the name of the elementary school, and now they want to change our logo.”
However, according to Lewis Cass Superintendent Dr. Tim Garland, the change was made to the crown to help provide uniformity throughout the school corporation.
“We found almost a dozen different crown logos painted throughout the school,” Garland stated. “At one point, it comes time to choose a crown and no one seemed to know where they came from or why.”
The school corporation decided to hire a firm to come in and design an updated crown. The school says they wanted something they have the rights to and can duplicate.
Garland says he wasn't alone in making the decision on a new design.
“This wasn’t a quick process — the company provided us over a hundred different renderings and with several opinions from students, staff and parents, we chose the most popular one,” Garland said.
But members of the community and Lewis Cass alumni feel they should have had input into the design process.
“We didn’t have any time to do research and get ourselves prepared,” said a Lewis Cass alum. “This was never put into any agendas — if it was, it would have spread like wildfire.”
After receiving input from concerned community members at recent school board meetings, the school decided to let students design crown logos as well.
Over 36 crowns were designed by Lewis Cass students, which were narrowed down to just four by members of student council. On Feb. 25, the school allowed students and staff to vote on which crown design they liked the best.
Lewis Cass officials were prepared for some push back regarding the updated logo — especially in light of some of the other recent changes at the school — but they didn’t expect this type of outrage, so they decided to listen.
On social media, comments were plentiful regarding the change to the crown logo.
“I don’t like the new one at all. As a Lewis Cass alumnus, when I see our crown I want it to be familiar and when I see this crown it doesn’t look like a Lewis Cass King.”
“What a waste of money. The old crown should stay. Remove the new crown and leave the ‘CK’ alone! It is a respected logo around the state.”
“I think if you made the old one a bit more graphically modern, but keep the original style of the crown you might better link old with new. History and tradition are important to alumni but a face lift could sell more product to the new students.”
In response, the school will be hosting an open house for the public on March 6 from 6-8 p.m. Following a presentation at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium, members of the community will be able to vote on a new crown design. Additionally, everyone will be able to walk through and see all of the new construction and updates to the school.
“It’s an opportunity to take a step back and make sure that we build a process that involves people throughout — students, staff, alumni, and those in the community that care about our school,” Garland said. “Although we didn’t anticipate this being such a controversial topic, we want to make sure those people who want to be involved are.”
The community agrees — they should have been more involved from the start.
While many dislike the modernized logo — community members have said it looks like clip art or a "queen’s" crown and that it lacks the traditional crown’s majesty — other alumni have suggested the school should have simply given the traditional crown a facelift.
Garland says the school will be keeping its traditions, just with a little different look.
“The true aspect of being a King is not found in a crown it is how we build our kids to be who they are,” Garland said. “Confident, strong, smart, persevering through the tough times, believing in themselves and building character — through all of this they find out who they really are ... a King.”
Garland says the school has mainly been focused on updating procedures and making changes that are for the better regarding school safety and education. The junior and senior high school and elementary school are in the midst of a renovation project that will bring new secured single-point main entries, a new student activity center and a new media center/student commons area.
Reach Quentin Blount at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5130.