John Jay Wolves new mascot branding

The Katonah-Lewisboro School District unveiled the artwork and brand identity on Wednesday for the new John Jay mascot — the Wolves. KLSD announced the new branding in a video message produced by the John Jay High School Athletic Department, which was sent to the middle and high school students.

The video began with faint sounds of crickets and wolf growls in the background as the words “A new era begins…” appear on screen. The message goes on to say, “A place with pride and tradition chooses a new identity … to remember the past and look to the future and this is what it looks like.”

The video then proceeds to run through all of the new branding and logos for the John Jay Wolves.

“Our new mascot logo is intense and majestic but also fun,” Chris McCarthy, director of health, physical education, athletics and wellness for the district, said. “We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

The Katonah-Lewisboro school board decided in November 2019 to retire the school’s Indians mascot on the grounds that it was divisive and counter-intuitive to the district’s goal of fostering a welcoming environment. 

On July 9, KLSD announced that the Wolves would be John Jay’s new mascot, after controversy over the initial selection of  “Wolfpack.” Since then, Mr. McCarthy has been working alongside Board of Education trustee and John Jay parents Elizabeth Gereghty, JJHS physical education teacher, Kim Mammoser, and Varsity Brand’s design division, VIP Branding, on the new brand identity.

According to a press release, VIP Branding developed sketches based on the team’s ideas, which were refined throughout the summer and early fall. The resulting package of branding produced by VIP Branding included a wordmark that uses a pawprint to replace the “o” in Wolves as well as another logo that features three wolves. That visual will be in the center of John Jay High School’s gym floor.

The process of painting over John Jay’s previous Indians mascot began in the summer and ran into early fall as well. Mr. McCarthy said in August that all of the old logos were in the process of being painted over, and the gym was expected to be finished by September.

The branding package also includes new logos to be incorporated in John Jay’s new athletic uniforms. According to the press release, team uniforms and other gear for the John Jay Wolves will be available through the school and the John Jay Boosters this fall

“We’re excited to have a mascot that has qualities we want our students to embody,” Mr. McCarthy said. “They’re complex, highly intelligent and fierce animals who are caring, playful, and above all, devoted to family. Go Wolves!”

Jessica Leibman is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where she covers the Town of Lewisboro the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

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