Kenzye Fishel’s drawing of a phoenix in flight against the backdrop of flames was chosen to be the design for the new Linderman Education Center mascot.
The design was one of five submissions to a school mascot design contest the school recently held. Until last year, after the formation of a student council, the school did not have a mascot. Linderman is an alternative school serving Flathead and Glacier high school students.
Linderman manager Jodie Barber said a mascot has been in demand for a long time.
âI said no, we don’t need a mascot, we’re not a traditional school,â Barber said, noting that the school didn’t have sports teams, for example, to use. a mascot.
âWe have our infinity bridge outside – the sculpture – that’s kind of what I used as a representation of us,â she said.
The sculpture, a collaboration between former students and local artist Lee Proctor in 2014, served as Linderman’s logo. Made of glass and steel from a dismantled local bridge, it symbolized the merger of Bridge Academy and Laser Alternative School in the fall of 2013.
âThen we had a student council last year. They said, ‘We really want a mascot.’ So last year we voted for the mascot. We made students vote between the pioneers and the phoenix.
While the sculpture represents the Unified Programs, the mythical firebird symbolizes the perseverance of the students attending and graduating from Linderman. The next step is to have a graphic designer adapt Fishel’s drawing into a graphic. While it has not yet been determined where the mascot will be used, Barber believes it could be used on school gear, such as t-shirts, or on the school’s website. “We will rise” is the slogan that Barber imagines that will be incorporated when the mascot is used.
FISH A its own history of overcoming obstacles. During an interview with Linderman in December, Barber asked her if she could share Fishel’s personal story.
âYes, of course,â she said.
âSo Kynze came to us in first year and she was pregnant and she struggled during her pregnancy. There was different medical stuff. We didn’t see her in her second year and she came back in her freshman year and has said, “I want to come to school,” Barber said, adding that Fishel had very few credits.
To top it off, Fishel had Covid and had to quarantine for a while.
âShe worked really, really hard her junior and senior years, she only came back for a fifth year shift and finished and graduated. So when I look – not that her life was in ashes – but that she is definitely someone who has a story and who has persevered and who graduated with a beautiful little boy who is almost three years old, â said Barber, pulling out a coloring book for Fishel’s Busy. toddler, Nova.
âI really try to make art with him. He loves to color, âsaid Fishel.
Like his mother, he also enjoys drawing, even on the walls of the house, Fishel said with a smile.
Fishel remembers finishing the drawing of the phoenix just in time.
âThe last day before I finally got my last credit, I finished it during the day,â Fishel said. ” Perfect moment. “
The only guidelines for the competition were that submissions should feature original artwork with the school colors purple and teal.
Fishel said she studied art throughout high school and loved to draw and that her current tool of choice was colored pencils.
âI love it because of all the colors you can put in something,â she said. “Yes, the expression of it, like bringing something to life.”
Now that Fishel has reached her goal of graduating, she looks to the future.
âNow I’m just trying to figure out where to go from here,â she said, hoping it was something that involves art.
Journalist Hilary Matheson can be reached at 406-758-4431 or [email protected]