After 5-month search, Shady Side Academy has new nickname

Monday, December 21, 2020 | 12:47 PM

Shady Side Academy officially has a new mascot and nickname — the Bulldogs.

The SSA Board of Trustees began a five-month search process in July after they decided to discontinue the use of the Indian as the school’s mascot and team name.

During their search for a new mascot, a 20-person mascot search committee, composed of students, alumni, coaches, faculty, staff and parents, engaged with the SSA community before coming to a decision. Community members were asked to submit their mascot suggestions via an online survey, and the committee received more than 600 suggestions, which they narrowed down to 22 semifinalists.

The committee pared down five finalists based on feedback from more than 1,500 respondents of a second survey. They came up with Bulldogs, Hawks, Lions, Owls, and Wolfpack. The board officially approved the school’s new mascot Dec. 17.

“Kind yet courageous, friendly yet dignified, strong and smart, the Bulldog embodies loyalty, courage, and tenacity,” Board of Trustees Chair Jon Kamin said in an email to the community. “These inherent traits also describe our Shady Side Academy community. The Bulldog is a mascot that everyone in our community — from pre-kindergartners to alumni — will unite behind and cheer about for generations to come. Whether at an athletic contest, a robotics tournament, or a class reunion, we look forward to hearing the Blue-and-Gold faithful rallying around the Bulldogs.”

Shady Side Academy is one of several teams and schools across the country that have begun to distance themselves from the Indians mascot. The Cleveland Indians just announced they would begin a search for a new mascot and team name.

The Washington Football Team also abandoned its former team name, the Redskins. With their change of mascot, Shady Side Academy is hoping to bring a new level of spirit to the school.

“This is an exciting new chapter for our school and our athletic program,” Shady Side Academy athletic director Gene Deal said in a statement. “The Bulldog is a mascot our kids, our coaches and our teams will rally behind and wear with pride. I have no doubt it will bring a whole new spirit to our games and to our entire community as we cheer on the Shady Side Academy Bulldogs.”

Shady Side Academy now will work toward designing a new logo and branding for the athletic department. The school announced it is hoping to do so by the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .


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