Arrowhead Elementary School in Aurora selects fox as new mascot after retiring Thunderbird

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It’s official. Arrowhead Elementary School’s new mascot is the fox. Students campaigned and voted for the new mascot earlier this month after retiring the previous mascot. Photo by Carina Julig/SENTINEL COLORADO

AURORA | The votes have been counted. Arrowhead Elementary School’s new mascot will be the fox.

Students, staff and community members voted earlier this month at the Aurora school to select a new mascot, with students campaigning for their favorite choice of the three final options: fox, lion and stegosaurus.

The school has been in the process of selecting a new mascot since last year, when it retired the thunderbird following the passage of the 2021 state law prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by schools unless they have an agreement with a specific tribe. 

Arrowhead was one of several Colorado schools that was asked to change its mascot from the thunderbird, a mythical bird found in Native American legends, after the law took effect.

The school used the opportunity to teach students about the democratic process and the importance of civic engagement, and held a schoolwide election on Election Day. The fox received 43% of the vote at 596 ballots, according to district spokesperson Lauren Snell. The lion came in at 30% and the stegosaurus at 27%.

The new mascot was unveiled at an assembly Tuesday, where students learned a new chant and dance to go along with it. A logo featuring the fox was designed by Arrowhead parent Tyler Brayton.

Each mascot choice had a specific symbolism. The fox represents the diversity of the Arrowhead student body because it lives on every continent and has many different physical appearances.

“Foxes are very social creatures that live in packs, which represents our values of community and family,” the school said. “We take care of each other at Arrowhead. A fox may be small, but they are resilient and adaptive, just like our students and staff.”

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