How Peru Central School District became the Nighthawks
In Peru, the board of education adopted the name Nighthawks at their board meeting July 14, 2020, after 70 years of being the Indians.
Superintendent of Schools Thomas Palmer said the district began by polling the community about changing its name and the total transformation from start to finish took five months to complete.
“We allowed them to bereave the Indians name and to move forward in the process,” he said. “We had public meetings and discussions, but it was difficult with the restrictions placed on us by the pandemic.”
Peru’s public input delivered 35 different names, boiling them down to three: Nighthawks, Blue Jays, and the Wolfpack. After casting 2,600 votes, Nighthawks received most votes.
Peru Central School District is in the process of redesigning the Nighthawks emblems and logo with the help of their students.
“We are not hiding or embarrassed about the Indian name. We say we are retiring the name only,” Palmer said. “We may have changed the name, but we will never lose our value system set by tradition,” he added.
— Greg Hitchcock
Retiring school mascots
This story is part of a larger look
at Adirondack districts that have moved
away from Native-American team names.