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Roosevelt Middle School gets a new mascot thanks to donation from AHEF

Rocky the Roosevelt Royal (11/01/18) Roosevelt Middle School (RMS) in Blaine has never had a mascot. Sure, the school’s logo is that of a stately-looking tiger, but the school has never had a fun-loving mascot to run around the gym getting students to cheer during events, or to high-five students in the hallways to whip up school spirit.

That all changed this year thanks to a donation from the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF). Last school year, the foundation offered to provide RMS with a mascot of its own — a fun and engaging blue tiger outfit with stripes and fluffy paws, complete with a gigantic, smiling tiger face.

“It’s been great,” Principal Greg Blodgett said. “The (AHEF) came to us and said, ‘we’ll do this for you.’ From there we picked everything out, and the mascot actually made its debut at a staff meeting over the summer, and was on hand for our WEB Day and the first day of school.”

Pam Schwandt usually dons the mascot outfit, but the name “Pam” didn’t really capture the essence of the new mascot. So as the new school year kicked off, so did the naming process for the new RMS mascot. Blodgett said students first were asked to provide potential names, and from there, the ones submitted most were voted on by the school.

The official name of the new mascot was unveiled the week of Oct. 29 during three separate pep fests — one for each grade-level — that coincided with the school’s spirit week. And during the pep fests the school’s students learned the results of the mascot name voting: Rocky the Roosevelt Royal. See photos from the seventh-grade pep fest held Oct. 31.

It turns out the pep fests were unique in their own right, Blodgett said. “We’ve never had a pep fest before,” he said. “So all of this is pretty exciting for our students and our staff.”

The pep fests also served as a chance to showcase the school’s new social media hashtag #RMS_Strong. Blodgett said staff at RMS is encouraging everyone — staff, students and parents/guardians — to use the hashtag to showcase the wonderful accomplishments of the school’s excellent students.

Meanwhile, RMS isn’t alone in getting a new mascot. Tess DeGeest, executive director of the AHEF said the foundation and its donors have funded and donated new mascots to seven district schools since the start of the 2017-18 school year, including RMS, Anoka Middle School for the Arts, and Lincoln, Sand Creek, Mississippi, Jefferson, and Franklin elementary schools.

“It’s all about helping build school community, and the mascots really help with that,” DeGeest said. “When the school community is strong, the students have a stronger connection to the school and a stronger connection to their education. Plus, I think it’s a fun way to add fun and levity to the school environment.”

Moving forward, Blodgett said RMS will be having one each trimester this school year to pump up school spirit.

“They’re a lot of fun and the kids love them,” he said.