The College School Dragons
The College School first met our Dragon in 1980.
As part of a class project with middle school founder, Kathi Beyer, a group of middle school students painted a 15-foot long and 5-feet tall dragon going down the stairway from our theater. The students wanted the dragon to direct people to the lower level of the building where middle school was then located and where adventures and news ideas could be found.
The concept of the dragon was connected to an article about Adventure Education that former Heads of School, Peter Wilson and Jan Phillips, wrote for a graduate education course at (then) Webster College. The article was titled “Here Be Dragons,” and the dragon was a perfect metaphor for The College School.
Historically, map-makers would place dragons on their maps to represent areas that were uncharted and unexplored. Peter, Jan, and Kathi knew that this metaphor was perfect for the learning at The College School. They wanted students to be pushed out of their personal and academic comfort zones, because that is where the most profound learning can happen. The College School’s philosophy has always been one to encourage our students to venture safely into unchartered ideas, areas, and adventures.
In 1980, The College School Dragon was the perfect mascot for our middle school community. Over the years, though, it faded into the background of our community consciousness. However, it never left us completely. During building renovations and painting projects over the years, it was always preserved and protected; one year it even had to have its tail moved to another wall. It has always been with us.
Flash forward 30 years to 2010. The College School community is ready for a new mascot. The search began. Students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and Board all submitted wonderful and creative ideas for our mascot; trailblazers, otters, pterodactyls, varmints, hellbender salamanders, mighty acorns, or turbines – to name a few. However, a number of staff and students offered a familiar submission: The College School Dragon.
We decided to let the students vote on the three finalists, and it as a clear victory:
- Trailblazers: 51
- Otters: 77
- Dragon: 130
The dragon wins! The dragon wins! It will emerge to again fly proudly, confidently, and strongly above The College School.
And then the search began for what our dragon will look like. We work with students, parent artists, and professional graphic designers. Questions arose and were discussed: Will our dragon be Asian or European influenced? Will it breathe fire? Will be male, female, or gender neutral? Will it be more like a cartoon or a "real" animal? There were many wonderful ideas flying around.
We want it to be liked by middle school sports teams and also cherished by our preschool students. We want it to soar protectively over third grade on campout and not be a frightening image that would scare us on campout. We want it to be athletic. We want it to be fierce and strong but not too frightening. We want it to be somehow connected to our 1980 dragon. We want a dragon that would make us proud to wear on our t-shirts and hats, and that would represent our adventurous spirit in and out of the classroom. We needed the perfect dragon.
Hundreds of dragon drawings and concepts were considered, and we eventually found our “perfect” dragon just in time for the October 2011 Walk-to-School Spirit Day. As with most perfect ideas, The College School Dragon is an amalgamation of ideas and drawings from many students, parents, and community members. We love our Dragon, and hope it will forever soar above The College School, symbolizing our adventurous spirit and learning style.