BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — School leaders approved the names, mascots, and colors of the new schools that will be created by converting Sullivan Central and Sullivan South high schools into middle schools.
Not much will change at Sullivan Central, aside from swapping “high school” for “middle school.” In a unanimous decision, the Sullivan County Board of Education kept the name Sullivan Central and the Cougars mascot. The school will continue to use orange and white as its colors plus gray.
On the other hand, Sullivan South High School will become Sullivan Heights Middle School. The mascot will change from the Rebels to the Huskies. The school colors will be Columbia blue, charcoal grey, and white.
The names, mascots, and colors were recommended to the school board by student representatives from two committees, one committee for each school, that consisted of parents, teachers, and students. The recommendations were based on the results of two online surveys.
The board approved the Sullivan South name, mascot, and colors in a 5–2 vote, with board members Mark Ireson and Paul Robinson objecting.
Ireson made a motion to table the matter for one month and redo the survey with a new option: Sullivan South Middle School.
Ireson said some in the Sullivan South school zone were not happy about not having “Sullivan South” as an option on the survey.
“The South community is the only one that didn’t have, as a group, the ability to vote for their school name to remain the same,” Ireson said. “Sullivan Central did. Sullivan East did.”
Ireson said many believed the new middle school would retain the Sullivan South name. As a result, he said a new soccer scoreboard and basketball seats were purchased that bear the “Sullivan South” name.
Ireson also proposed adding Raiders and Blue Raiders to the survey so that it would be more inclusive of those in the Sullivan North zone. Robinson said he had heard complaints about the survey from constituents in the North zone.
The board ultimately rejected Ireson’s motion to redo the survey in a 5-2 vote.
Sullivan Central, North, and South high schools will be consolidated into the new West Ridge High School, which is slated to open in the fall.