North Memorial School has become bear country.
The school is debuting their new logo, along with a new moniker this year, which is the grizzly bears. Principal Val Smith says the students voted on which animal they would prefer to be the school's mascot, and the winner was the bear. She notes the logo is more about community than it is about athletics at this age.
"Our logo is about community, relationships, and just the cool factor for the kids. It's part of our PBIS that we do in all of our school divisions. It stands for positive behaviour intervention system. It's just about taking ownership of your own behaviour," Smith explains. "Part of our grizzly bear mascot is the kids can earn grizzly growls for doing good things. All the staff will have cards and if they catch a student doing something good they put their name on it, and they're entered to win our grizzly draw at the end of every month."
Smith adds the prizes for these draws can range from a bike to swimming passes.
She notes the new logo is an important figurehead in Indigenous culture.
"We focus on the Indigenous teaching,s and the bear represents courage. It takes courage sometimes to do the right thing, so that teaching is very good for all of our students. It takes courage to do the right thing, and it takes courage to take risks in school. Everything takes a certain amount of courage."
Smith says they had a few different iterations of the logo before it was finalized and notes they have it up in the school hallway and also have signs in the playground. The principal adds the old logo was three little people, which she says served its purpose in its day but they wanted to evolve with the times.
Smith shares she has a special morning announcement to make on the first day of school, which has her currently practicing her grizzly growl.