Harry F. Byrd Middle School, which will become Quioccasin Middle School July 1st, will honor a late school resource officer with its new mascot.
A Henrico middle school will soon sport a new name, and now school officials have announced that new name will come with a new mascot–one that honors a beloved former school resource officer who passed away.
Henrico County’s newly renamed Quioccasin Middle School will draw inspiration from the late officer, as well as lions and eagles. Students at Harry F. Byrd Middle School–which will become Quioccasin Middle School July 1st–have voted to replace the school’s “Senators” nickname with “Griffins.”
The name was first proposed by students as a way to commemorate Neil Griffin, the school’s popular former school resource officer, who died earlier this year. The mythical griffin has the body of a lion, and the head, wings and talons of an eagle.
“The vote shows how important Officer Griffin was to our school community,” said Cheri Guempel, school principal. “This vote is about unity and moving forward.”
An initial online suggestion phase for a new mascot was open to anyone, but the final vote was limited to current and rising students at the school, as well as school faculty and staff members. The suggestions were winnowed to three finalists: Griffins, Bulls, and Cougars. The winning name garnered more than 50 percent of the final vote.
The new name and nickname will begin to appear this summer at the school.
The School Board voted March 10th to rename the school at 9400 Quioccasin Road. The Board’s vote followed a series of public input sessions in response to a proposal by community members to rename the school.