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As the new school year approached, officials in York Suburban School District felt there was no better time to examine the district's purpose and goals.

The school board at a recent meeting revealed a new logo and tagline: a half black, half orange shield with the letters "YS" in white, with the text, "York Suburban School District. A community of encouragement. A culture of excellence."

Branding: "Administratively we've been working to identify our brand," Superintendant Shelly Merkle said. "We wanted to identify something our teachers and our administration could really focus on."

The district partnered with a York-based advertising group Moxie — which employs a few York Suburban alums, including president and founder Julie Lando — to develop a concise statement that identified both the goals and the culture of the district.

After living in South Florida with her family, Lando decided to returned to York so her children could enjoy the same education she did at York Suburban — her twins are in seventh grade, and her son just graduated from high school.

"In the last year or two, the district has had some great successes, and they wanted to share that, so we really talked about that and this pride that they had," Lando said. "These were words (community, encouragement, culture and excellence) in one way or another kept getting repeated, we kept hearing them, and it became a huge priority to convey and portray them.

"It was very personal in many ways, which is fun but makes it a little more challenging because you wanted to get it right."

The administrative team approached Moxie with several concerns, including that the current logo was out of date and that there was no evidence of the mascot.

"We decided on the outline of the shield, which is representative, of course, of the Trojans, the mascot, but it also has that deeper message of strength," Lando said. "We really wanted to tie that in for them so there wasn't any disconnect between the schools and the district's representation."

At the end of the day, the district desired a motto of sorts on which they could build their goals.

"The more we talked about it, the more we realized we needed that clarity of purpose," Merkle said. "It's an important part of our communicating with the community, so we asked ourselves, 'How can we refresh?'"

And over the course of many meetings, Moxie and members of the York Suburban communications team and administrative staff were able to identify their purpose.

"Encouraging that culture of excellence really is a part of everything we do," Merkle said

Roll out: Members of the district's staff and the school board at the meeting received a pad of Post-it notes sporting the new tagline and logo, so they "can always be aware of it and make it a part of what they do," Merkle said.

The new logo will be implemented on letterheads and other places, including the district's website, over time, Merkle said.

"I like it," said Dana Tousey, whose daughter attends Yorkshire Elementary School. "That kind of language, a culture of excellence, that's something any parent would want associated with their kids' schools."

Lando declined to disclose the cost of the logo revamp. Merkle's office didn't return numerous calls and emails requesting the cost of the logo revamp.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

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