Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo
The Madera Unified School District board listens to comments during a meeting in January. The board recently decided on the new mascot for Matilda Torres High School.
Trustees choose bull as new school’s mascot
After weeks of wrangling and campaigning over the naming of a mascot for the New Matilda Torres High School, Madera Unified trustees Tuesday night chose Toros, Spanish for bulls, to help give the new facility its identity.
Disregarding the gender awkwardness of the name, on a 4-2 vote, the majority yielded to the vigorous campaign to choose Toros. In discussing the issue, reference was made to the Madera South High School’s Stallions and how it is awkward to refer to the women’s athletic teams as “Lady Stallions.”
Trustee Ruben Mendoza alluded to the same problem that would come with referring to the women’s athletic teams at the new high school as Lady Toros or Lady Bulls.
At an earlier meeting, the board agreed that each trustee would submit a first and second choice. When the mascot issue was brought before the board by Deputy Superintendent Sandon Schwartz Tuesday night, an attempt was made to shield the identity of which trustees made which choices. Instead of names, each trustee received a number, and beside that number were first and second choices.
Trustee 1 chose Eagles and Tigers; Trustee 2, Toros and Bulls; Trustee 3, Bulls and Toros; Trustee 4, Toros and Warriors; Trustee 5, Bulls and Toros; Trustee 6, Cardinals and Seahawks. There were no choices for Trustee 7.
In the discussion that followed, Mendoza and Trustee Ed McIntyre lifted the veil on their votes. Mendoza explained that his first choice was the Cardinal because it matched the school’s colors. McIntyre chose the Eagle because it was not gender specific.
Two votes were taken on the issue. Mendoza made the first motion, seconded by McIntyre, to designate the Cardinal as the mascot. The motion was defeated 4-2. Trustee Brent Fernandes then moved to designate Toros as the mascot; Trustee Joetta Fleak seconded the motion. The vote was 4-2 in favor of the motion. McIntyre and Mendoza cast the no vote, with Board President Ray Seibert, Fernandes, Fleak, and Trustee Lucy Salazar voting in the affirmative. Trustee Ricardo Arredondo was absent.