FRES chooses red fox as its new mascot

WILTON – Combining the Wilton and Lyndeborough elementary schools into one new school prompted officials to ask students to choose a new mascot.

Students at Florence Rideout Elementary School went through that exercise during the recent presidential primary, learning about that democratic process along the way.

"Students who attended the different schools have come together to learn and grow," Principal Tim O’Connell said. "An important part of establishing our identity and building a new community of learners is selecting our school mascot." Students were asked to think about the positive features that a mascot represents. Popular mascots include animals such as wolves and tigers, he said, or human characters or characteristics such as wizards, Spartans, or warriors, which is the high school’s symbol. FRES students were asked to find a positive image for both boys and girls.

As in the primary, the selection process had several phases. Each classroom brainstormed and selected a class choice. Each grade level then selected one of the suggestions to represent its grade.

The first grade chose a polar bear, grade 2 a panther, grade 3 the Patriots, and grades 4 and 5 chose the red fox. "Each grade level sent a representative to speak during the morning announcements to advocate for their choice," O’Connell said. "They were able to articulate very good reasons why their mascot was a good choice for the school." Voting was held in February.

The two original mascots, the FRES wolf and the LCS lynx, were also on the ballot. Every student had a chance to mark a ballot, and the red fox won with 28 percent of the vote. – JESSIE SALISBURY