On Monday, June 12, 2023, the Averill Park Central School District’s Board of Education passed a resolution to dissolve the nickname Warriors due to the New York State Board of Regents’ regulation that, in essence, bans all names and images of school mascots currently or which were at any time related to Indigenous people.
“As an Averill Park graduate, community member, and member of the Board of Education, I understand that the community has strong ties to the Warriors name. We have spent a significant amount of time advocating for our community on this subject,” BOE President Jessica Zweig said. “As we move forward, we hope that past, present and future generations of Averill Park CSD students will develop a strong bond to a new name, as well.”
In May, the Board of Education passed a resolution postponing the decision and appealed directly to the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Education with a letter and a video that included students, staff and community members. The District also solicited input from members of the community.
These advocacy measures included showing how Averill Park CSD has distanced itself from linking the name Warriors to any Indigenous group since the late-1990s. The BOE is also mindful of the financial repercussions that come with the new directive. In the end, there will be a larger financial impact on our community if the District does not move forward with changing its name.
Beginning next year, a student-led leadership group will begin the process of choosing a new nickname by soliciting input from students, staff and community members. Once the choices for a new name have been narrowed down, that information will be passed on to the Board of Education, which will ultimately decide on the new name.
We appreciate the input that our community has provided to date. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to move forward.