The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 12, 2014

School board adopts 'brand' new approach to marketing school system

By Kim West

— City school officials unveiled new branding for the system’s seven schools, athletics, formal events and the school board during Thursday’s called meeting.

The centerpiece for all of the new trademarks is a black “A” featuring a single gold wing to represent the Golden Eagle mascot for Athens athletic teams.

“The central focus to our system as a whole, for the lack of a better word, is to sell this school (system) and show how great this community is,” Superintendent Trey Holladay said during a PowerPoint presentation.

Holladay said the new branding is easily recognizable “because it’s uniquely Athens.” He added the marketing strategy “is about getting our prospective students and parents to realize we are the only option,” rather than competing with other schools.

To decide on the logos, the school system used an Athens-based advertising agency, MindVolt, and a 22-person committee comprised of central office personnel, school staff and alumni.

Holladay said through meetings and workshop ideas, four recurring criteria emerged for the new symbols.

These underlying themes, banded together by the tagline “A community connected by education,” included the following:

• Athens tradition must be maintained without losing its progressive edge;

• The community and school district share strong ties;

• The school system is known for its caring staff; and

• The system provides a stable and safe environment with top-notch academics.

“The goal of this board is to be among the top 10 school systems in the state,” Holladay said.

Personnel items

The board also approved Thursday the resignation of temporary maintenance worker Jimmie Troupe and transferred Deborah Craft from special education teacher at Athens Middle School to Athens Elementary School.

The board hired Erica Smith as an instructional aide at Brookhill Elementary School and Julian Newman Elementary School, Darran Alexander as assistant baseball coach at Athens Middle School and Justin Fletcher as assistant softball coach at AMS.

The next board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at the central office.