New cat in town

GOWRIE – Among the many things were needed when the whole-grade sharing agreement between Southeast Webster Grand and Prairie Valley was approved was a new logo and mascot for the new Southeast Valley system.

After accepting designs, the students of both systems, voted.

The winner, out of 14 submissions, was a jaguar designed by Prairie Valley High School art teacher Bryan Bachel.

While the Jaguar logo is brand-new – there is something of the old in it too – both schools’ former mascots and their initials.

He said the idea of putting those features into the design came from Sherry Vogel, family consumer science teacher.

“She had a logo from a district that combined,” Bachel said. “She said it would be neat if you could incorporate a Warrior and an Eagle.”

Since he was already working on the design using photographs of real jaguars for inspiration – putting in the new features became a trial and error process.

“At first I put them inside the eyes,” he said. “I didn’t like that.”

Instead, he switched to the ears which eventually became part of both the Eagle and Warrior.

“The ear looked like a way to use the Eagle in the design,” Bachel said. “I morphed the other ear into a Warrior helmet.”

The letters were a simpler process.

“They were pretty easy,” he said.

He wanted to make sure that the included features didn’t overwhelm the design.

“I wanted to make sure it was hidden,” Bachel said. “I didn’t want anything to stick out.”

He made sure.

“I tested it on my students,” he said,. “I asked them, ‘Can you find the Eagle and Warrior in there?'”

The results showed he was successful.

“They couldn’t find it,” he said. “I showed it to my wife Courtney and made sure she couldn’t find it either.”

He does have people ask him to show them where the elements are hidden. Once they’re pointed out, he said, most can see them easily.

“Eventually it pops out,” he said. “You have to look in the ears.”

Some of the old Warrior logos and Eagle logos, ubiquitous throughout the buildings, will have to be redone.

“We have a whole school that’s in need of Jaguar stuff,” he said.

That includes everything from team uniforms to painted murals.

“I’m going to have to paint it all over.” he said, “There’s a lot of stuff.

Bachel is optimistic about the grade sharing.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I can’t wait for them to come over and I look forward to meeting the new students.”