Think Park Crossing Thunderbirds has a nice ring to it?

The committee tasked with establishing a name and mascot for the new east high school does.  That’s what they intend to recommend to the Montgomery County Board of Education.

The committee, which met for the second time Monday, selected Park Crossing High School as the potential name for the new school since it reflects the area but does not reference a specific neighborhood.

The nickname Thunderbirds was selected because of the strength it projects, but also as an homage to the military.  Officials envision the mascot as a bird or eaglelike creature, but it also could reference the squadron of the Air Force.

A Thunderbird is defined as “a bird that causes lightning and thunder in American Indian myth.”

“It is strong, powerful,” board member and committee chairwoman Melissa Snowden said of the Thunderbirds, adding the nickname will help people to think of the Air Force and what a strong presence the military has in the area.

The $23 million high school, and the first new one to be added to the school system’s roster in decades, is expected to open in fall 2013.  The naming committee held its initial meeting in February.

Snowden also was looking at how the nickname could potentially motivate students, saying, for example, the Thunderbirds could be “soaring to new heights.”

The committee’s decision to use a location-based name and military theme was unanimous.  The school colors also will reflect that theme.  The group proposed navy blue, silver and red.

“We’ve lost the military schoolkids to Prattville,” said city councilman and committee member Charles Jinright at the meeting’s start.  He added that officials should attempt to bring those families back.

The next stepin the naming process will be for the committee to make its formal recommendation to the school board April 12th.  Superintendent Barbara Thompson can accept the committee’s recommendation or make her own, and that likely will come before the board April 24th.

Before the consensus Monday, the committee ruled out several options, including Taylor Field High, which was discussed at the initial meeting.  It was ruled out because its meaning might be obvious to those outside Montgomery.

Taylor Field was Montgomery’s first military flying installation and training field during World War I.

Board Vice President Eleanor Dawkins, who is also on the naming committee, said the Park Crossing Thunderbirds has a nice ring to it.  Plus, she said she couldn’t picture all the other options.  “I can see this clearly,” she said.

Article written by Annie McCallum of The Montgomery Advertiser.

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