After a tense countdown, Walker Valley High School finally revealed its new mascot logo during a pep rally on Friday with its student body, past and present.
The new logo commemorates 20 years since the groundbreaking at Walker Valley in May 1999. After 16 years of gathering county funds for a new high school and three years of construction, the school opened in 2001.
The first set of faculty who christened the school rolled out onto the gym floor on Friday before the student body and faculty at Walker Valley, which has doubled in size since it first opened.
Mustangs football Head Coach Drew Akins pumped up the crowd with a rousing speech about the school he has come to know through coaching.
He said he saw support not only for the football team, but for softball, soccer and basketball. He saw teams supporting each other and a culture of unity.
That culture is seen in the interlocking letters of the new Walker Valley insignia and the new “One Valley” motto.
“Who are we?” Akins asked.
Last week, during the monthly Bradley County Schools Board of Education meeting, Principal Nat Akiona revealed some of the new signage that would replace the series of logos that either violated copyright laws or misrepresented the spirit of the Mustangs.
Previous symbols used around the school, like the horseshoe prints around the circular drive, didn’t represent mustangs. He said mustangs are wild, so one wouldn’t see a horseshoe, they’d see a hoof print.
Some symbols were problematic. Walker Valley has gone through a series of logos for its mascot due to cease and desist orders for copyright violations. But this new logo is unique, Akiona said. By working with a company in California, they designed a new package of original, trademarked material that is for Walker Valley and Walker Valley alone.
Akiona said they will be renaming some areas of the school, like the “The Stable” and “The Corral” to match their wild mustang persona.
The new logo was revealed before the original group that chose the colors, mascot and design for the school when it first opened. Akiona said this is a big step for the Walker Valley family, but it is one that represents their changing and growing family.