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David Taub

Mascot Name Game. Getting it Right at Young Elementary.



illustration of possible names for Janet Young elementary school
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It’s the dawn of a new school in Clovis Unified and the district has completed most of the groundwork.

The land is under construction; the school boundaries are set; and the school will be named for former superintendent Janet Young, a very fine choice.

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David Taub

But, the hardest decision with repercussions that could last for decades is yet to come — what school mascot should be.

Names Should be Unique

Unfortunately, for our local school districts, originality and inspiration aren’t prerequisites. Instead, it seems as if the Clovis and Fresno districts choose simplicity and duplication over creativity.

For example, the most recent Clovis Unified school to open, Boris Elementary, borrowed from the NFL team down south and went with the Chargers. The school chose a bull as its logo instead of lightning bolts. A charging bull, get it? Ho hum.

In Fresno, how is Vang Pao Elementary called anything but the Generals? Nope, they are the Tigers. Just like seven other elementary schools in the Fresno, Clovis, and Central districts.

Tigers are the most popuar nickname for Fresno-area public elementary schools.

That’s why Janet Young Elementary needs something different, something unique.

Why does this matter to me? First, I love team nicknames, from the pros down to the elementary school. Second, this school is going up near Locan and Shields avenues, close to where I live. My children, in theory, would attend Janet Young.

So, I need to make sure this school mascot gets named right.

Janet Young Elementary

Here are my 10 suggestions for something unique and fun. Some simple rules: Names need to end with an ‘s’ — no collective nouns, no ending in ‘z.’ The name has to apply to both boys and girls.


Mench is a Yiddish word for someone who does good deeds. That sounds like something I want my kid to become. As far as a logo? How about a kid with a halo?


Who doesn’t want to be a Young Learner? Maybe not the most intimidating mascot, but isn’t it all about education anyway?


In the same vein, don’t we all think our kids are Young Geniuses? Besides, using the term “Young Einsteins” might lead to a copyright infringement lawsuit.


Kings Canyon National Park lies due east of Young Elementary, and 20% of the mammals in the park are bats. Maybe the school teams would need to play night games.


While there are schools called Sequoia, it is not used as a team name as far as I know. And, what is one of the most popular attractions at said Kings Canyon National Park? The Giant Sequoias. Plus the word includes all five vowels.


Bighorns (as in the sheep) are making a comeback in the Sierra Nevada. They can be found in Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks, east of the school. No need to name the team the Rams (already used by Riverview Elementary in Clovis).


On a clear day, the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevada are a sight to behold. It could inspire a creative logo as well.


Many neighborhoods near the school site sprung up over the last 15 years on land that was formerly almond orchards and orange groves. Why not honor the agriculture history by naming the team the Harvesters?


There is only one school in the area called the Stallions — Saroyan Elementary in the Central district. That should be a crime. A man as creative as Saroyan, and you call the team the Stallions? How about the Fightin’ Arams? Nevertheless, Young Stallions rolls off the tongue well.


Maybe the boldest and most daring choice. The Janet Planets. Perhaps a little corny, but the logo would be cool. And educational.

Principal Wants to Hear From You

Appointed principal Kacey Gibson is polling future Young Elementary students and parents on a mascot for when the school opens in the fall of 2020. She will host two public meetings — Thursday (March 7) at Freedom Elementary and March 11 at Boris Elementary. Both start at 6 p.m.

Come and share your thoughts. Or, just tell them you like my ideas.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email