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Patrick Burke, Principal SHHS

For immediate release


The recently formed South Burlington School District (SBSD) Mascot Selection Oversight
Committee has been charged by the School Board to run an inclusive process that will result in
a recommendation to the Board regarding the schools new mascot. The 40-member
committee is co-chaired by South Burlington High School (SBHS) Principal Patrick Burke and F.H.
Tuttle Middle School (FHTMS) Principal Karsten Schlenter and consists of current students,
alumni, parents/guardians, boosters, and staff. The committee held its first organizational
meeting on March 28th. A list of future meetings as well as details about the mascot selection
process are available online at All meetings are open to the public.

Over half of the committee are current South Burlington students, prompting committee
member and alumnus Luke Wight (SBHS 03) to observe, The most exciting part of our first
meeting was to see how many students were involved and how thoughtful and invested they
are in the process of finding the right symbol to represent SB. SBHS student Bambi Zhaung
(SBHS 20) shared the following about her role in the process: I believe I can help provide
communication and a smooth transition to a new mascot for South Burlington by representing
and including the freshmen.

SBHS Athletic Hall of Fame member Shannon Kynoch (SB 03) shared her gratitude for the past
and her hope for the future: I have been a proud member of this community my entire life. I
am grateful and humbled by my experience at SBHS, and I am honored to serve on the
committee to give back and allow future student-athletes have the same experience I did.

Between now and 5:00 p.m. on April 12, the SBSD Mascot Selection Oversight Committee
is accepting suggestions via an online form (, a
voice mailbox (802-652-7520), and suggestion boxes in the middle school and high school main
offices. In mid-April the committee will publish online all the suggestions that meet the
criteria. Prior to making a recommendation to the School Board, the committee will facilitate at
least one vote involving students and staff in grades 6-12.

The committee acknowledges that alumni, community and parent/guardian voices are valued,
and they encourage their involvement by inviting their suggestions for a new mascot. Because
this process is about the SBSD schools today and in the future, voting for the suggested new
mascot will be done by students and staff in grades 6-12.

Every adult and student on the committee understand the challenges this shift has brought
about for the community. SBHS graduate, mother, and grandmother Maureen Rees (SBHS 67)
captured the thoughts of many when she said, My sincere hope is that this committee will
help reduce the rancor seen on social media by demonstrating how through positive listening,
brainstorming, and thinking outside the box representatives of the affected community will
openly demonstrate the pride and faith we have in one another to move forward in a spirit of

For questions or comments about the committee or its progress contact one of the co-chairs
Patrick Burke at 652-7001 or Karsten Schlenter at 652-7101.


About the Committee:


Patrick Burke and Karsten Schlenter (co-chairs)

High School
Ryan Navin, 93 (Social Studies CAS)
Sayre Ludlow (Special Ed CAS, current SB parent)
Rich Wise, 73 (teacher, SBEA Co-President, former SB parent),
Geoff Bennett (teacher, varsity coach)

Middle School
Jeff Favreau (So. Burlington Police School Resource Officer, SB parent)
Gary Russell (teacher)

Central Office
Joanne Godek (Special Education Administrator)

Alumni Director
Joanne Abate

Lisa Hebert
Andrea Dion
Leslie Freedman (Booster representative)

Maureen Rees, '67 (former SB parent, SB grandparent)
Chris Lei, '05 (local web developer/branding expert)
Shannon Kynoch, '03 (member SB Athletic Hall of Fame, Women's Basketball Coach St.
Aya Al-Namee, '11 (Senior Admissions Counselor at the University of Vermont,
current SB sibling)
Luke Wight, '03 (local business owner)


Cam Angwin, 19 Hakeem Fuad, 19 Rachel LaBombard, 17 Damon Strempeck, 22

Asya Begovic, 20 Kate Guillemette, 23 Gabe Lambert, 19 Matthew Vigneau, 22
Manny Boardman, 17 Ethan Hammond- Claire LeDuc, 19 Bambi Zhuang, 20
Sophie Bock, 19 Fortune, 18 Zachary Munson, 17
Bailey Burt, 18 William Hershberg, 23 Sylvia Richards, 22
Jacob Davis, 21 Max Keyt, 21 Nyasha Rutanhira, 23
Cloe Dingman, 21 Megan Knudsen, 21 Sarwat Samara, 18
Stella Steves, 23

Meeting Dates:

March 28 (Organizational meeting)

March - 28 - April 12 (Accepting suggestions window)
April 13 Committee meeting
April 20 Committee meeting
May 4 Committee meeting
May 11 Committee meeting (If necessary)
May 17 SB School Board Meeting (possible recommendation)