From Wolfpack to Phoenix: a Historic Change

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From Wolfpack to Phoenix: a Historic Change

Photo Courtesy Mellanye Salazar

Photo Courtesy Mellanye Salazar

Photo Courtesy Mellanye Salazar

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In the 2019-2020 school year, MACHS will be undergoing a historic change: our mascot will evolve from the Wolfpack to the Phoenix.

This change hopes to reconcile our mascot with our school’s namesake, Dr. Maya Angelou.

When the school first opened in 2011, the Wolfpack was chosen to represent our strength as a community and fierce competitive spirit. The three wolves in our logo represented the three initial schools that comprised MACHS. Now, since there are only two schools—MACHS and Synergy Quantum Academy–Principal Carlos thought it only seemed fitting that a transformation happen now. “It was not my decision,” Carlos affirmed. “It was the decision of the community and the students. We had leadership…involved,” he commented. According to Carlos, the mascot change was presented to the Leadership students, who approved the Phoenix with a majority vote.

Though the change is intended to have a positive impact on our school culture and sense of identity, student reactions were split upon receiving the news. Some students, like sophomore Brigette Escobedo, felt that the Phoenix does not represent the same sense of unity and pride that the Wolfpack did. “We’re supposed to be a pack, a team,” Escobedo said. “We should have a mascot that represents a group that sticks together.” Junior Aliyah Moore agreed, adding: “The Phoenix…that just isn’t who we are.”

Despite those who do not support the change, many students welcome the new mascot and the connection to Maya Angelou. “Changing the mascot to the Phoenix is a great choice,” said junior Jose Soltero. “The Phoenix represents Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I Rise.’ I like it because it connects to what the poem is trying to say really well, and it would help us motivate ourselves in our own lives,” he explained. Sophomore Jason Anaya reaffirmed Soltero’s outlook. “A Phoenix represents more than a Wolfpack,” Anaya said. “It sends a strong image to people. In my opinion it’s better than the Wolfpack.”

Though student opinion is split on the change, many MACHS students–both in support of and against the change–wished they could have had more say in the decision.  “The mascot is a big change, and I would have liked to have had a vote on that,” said Escobedo.

The mascot transformation will be complete in time for the new school year. This will be a year of positive changes for MACHS and could be perceived as a renovation of sorts. The transformation will even be documented by a mural on campus, featuring a running wolf that evolves gracefully into a Phoenix. Though our mascot is changing from Wolfpack to Phoenix, Carlos reminds students that we can “keep the Wolfpack in your heart.”

Photo Courtesy David D’Lugo
A mural by Mr. B Baby serves as an homage to our former mascot, the Wolfpack.

Photo Courtesy David D’Lugo
The mural features the colorful transformation of a wolf into a phoenix.

Photo Courtesy Mellanye Salazar
A large-scale mural painted on the elevator column in building 3 by artist Faith 47 depicts our new mascot: a fierce and fiery phoenix rising from its own ashes.

Photo Courtesy Mellanye Salazar
At the base of the mural reads this inscription, a paraphrase of a Maya Angelou quote: “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”