A new face for the Parkway West Longhorn

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Emily Dickson

Sophomore cross country runner Jane Fuller walks home with the new girls cross country backpack, which features the redesigned "W" longhorn logo.

On Sept.15, Activities Director Brian Kessler released a bright new set of Longhorn logos to the student body. Dramatic rumors about the switch had been brewing all Summer, although Kessler says the process started long before that.

“About five years ago, Dr. Mitchell and I wanted to put up a new scoreboard in the stadium in order to put up advertisements to make money for the school,” Kessler said. “We were told no because there are four high schools in the district. Why would we be allowed to do it if the other schools weren’t?”

A few years later, Kelly Sports Properties contacted West High with a proposal to individualize the the Longhorn logo. This proposal aligned one of Parkway’s district-wide missions: to find alternative means of funding. The board of education approved the proposal on Feb. 25, 2015 .

“Part of signing an agreement with them was trademarking our logos,” Kessler said. “We, all four schools, have logos that are very similar to college or professional teams, so we all had to change our logos so they belong to us.”

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Despite the practical nature of the Kelly Sports Marketing agreement, the lack of information presented to teachers and student led to the creation of some humorous and exaggerated explanations for logo trouble.

“The Parkway West Pelicans!” cross country coach and Biology teacher Charles Cutelli exclaimed. “I thought it would be funny to scare the kids into thinking they would be getting a mascot they didn’t like.”

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Senior Grace Miller recounted the silly misunderstanding that led her mother Annie Miller, principal of West Middle, to call Parkway administration.

“Cutelli told us they were changing the mascot because we couldn’t copy the Texas Longhorn,” Grace Miller said. “My friends’ parents were sending emails and my mom called them, but [the administration] didn’t know about it. It was obviously a joke.”

The redesigned logos are a proactive precaution against copyright issues. As far as the appearance of the logo, the Parkway West Longhorn now has facial features and pointed horns, but retains the same forward-facing profile that the old Longhorn had. Kessler worked with the Adidas Corporate office for six months to design the new logos.

When they look at these, I don’t think they’ll think, ‘Wow, that’s the University of Texas,’ they’ll think, ‘That’s the Parkway West Longhorn.”

— Kessler

“Initially they sent some logos that I did not want to show to the community,” Kessler said. “But finally I said ‘Look, I just want something that’s as close to what we have now as possible. We love our mark.’” 

Another group impacted by the new logo, other than students, is parents, some of whom are alumni.

“My parents [who went to West High] don’t really care about the switch,” sophomore Andrew Yazdi said. “They think the new logos are fine, but we don’t understand why they have to change them now.”

For right now, Kessler assures that changes will be gradual and benefit the students in the long run, specifically student athletes.longhorn1

“We are going to start using these logos and marks on everything that we do. As we get new turf, we will put our new logo on it; when we get a new gym floor, we will put the new logo on it,” Kessler said. “We aren’t going to spend money to replace items with the old logo, but as we get new items, we will implement the new logo.”

Student should expect to see the whole range of new logos, including the Longhorns and the new “W” around school.

We just didn’t want to change we are who we are. I like driving around West County and seeing longhorns on the back of cars,” Kessler said. When they look at these, I don’t think they’ll think, ‘Wow, that’s the University of Texas,’ they’ll think, ‘That’s the Parkway West Longhorn.