Students vote; new merged district to be called "Central Valley"

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

ILION-MOHAWK, N.Y. - Students in grades 4-11 at the currently separate Ilion and Mohawk Central Schools have chosen a name for the newly merged school district.

The students voted Wednesday, April 24, voting on possible names dreamt up by a School Identity Transition Advisory Team. The team was made up of students, parents and school staff, who narrowed down all of their ideas to three choices that the students voted on: Central Valley Academy, Mohawk Valley Academy and Ilion-Mohawk Central School.

The winning name among the students was Central Valley Academy, which was submitted to the New York State Department of Education for approval on Thursday morning. Department of Education officials responded saying that only school districts contained within a single building could use the word "academy" as part of their officials district name, adding that they would approve the name Central Valley Central School District.

However, state officials told the students, teachers and staff that the high school could be called Central Valley Academy, which could also be the common name of the district.

"It is important that we adopt a district name as quickly as possible," said Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra. "That name will be the foundation of our identity. We need a name before we can move forward with our website and email addresses, our newsletters and stationary, our signs, etc."

The next step is choosing a school mascot and colors, which will be discussed when the transition team meets again on Monday, April 29 to continue conversations about school colors and mascots.

The team has worked with Hal Hefner, a former Mohawk resident and now a graphic artist in Los Angeles, to explore various color schemes and mascots. The group will weigh the various options and then submit them to the student body in grades 4-11 for a vote.

"Adults are present, but their role is to make certain the choices are tasteful and practical. The ultimate decisions rest with the students," Tangorra said.

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