SIDNEY - The Sidney Central School District has revealed its new nickname. During the monthly board of education meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, a group of students unrolled string backpacks to show the new nickname to the board of education members and those in attendance. The Sabers were selected out of three finalists, which also included the Lions and Rough Riders.
Why was this needed?
Sidney Central School was one of about 60 New York public school districts that used a nickname or mascot connected to Native Americans. A New York State Supreme Court ruling in June 2022 established that public school districts are prohibited from utilizing the nicknames and mascots.
Selecting a new name
Sidney’s process heavily focused on student input. To begin, community and student stakeholder groups met to talk about what should be included in a new nickname and what Sidney embodies. A second meeting came up with a list of choices for nicknames, which initial surveys within the community and student body then whittled down to the three finalists.
The process included connecting nicknames to Sidney CSD through history, or because of what it embodies. Some of the words used by the groups for the names included strong, fierce, brave, proud, and resilient.
The final vote was by the student body in grades kindergarten-12. Of the 827 students who voted, nearly 50% chose Sabers. The Lions came in second with almost 31% of the vote, and the Rough Riders were third with 20%. The final numbers were as follows:
• Sabers (49%): 406
• Lions (31%): 255
• Rough Riders (20%): 166
• Total votes 827
“I want to thank the members of all of our groups who worked hard to make sure Sidney’s new nickname was one that embodied all of the key characteristics they had originally identified,” Sidney Superintendent Eben Bullock said. “I’m very proud of our students who understood the magnitude of this process and strived to make sure our new nickname would be a lasting legacy for years to come.”