Juanita High School Mascot Removed

Redmond, Wash. – During its July 13 School Board Meeting, Lake Washington School District Superintendent, Dr. Jon Holmen, removed “Rebels” as the Juanita High School mascot. Dr. Matt Livingston, Director of Secondary Education and Juanita High School Principal, Kelly Clapp, will now begin the process outlined in Policy 6970 to select a new mascot.

At its previous School Board Meeting on June 22, the School Board directed Dr. Holmen to look at the mascot in consideration of the Board’s Operational Expectation 10 – Learning Environment/Treatment of Students Policy.

As part of his review, Dr. Holmen met with students, parents and administrators to discuss the use of the Rebels mascot. He also looked at current research on the use of the Rebels mascot by other organizations.

In order to make this change, Dr. Holmen reviewed and updated Policy 6970 - Naming Schools and Mascots. These updates include:

  • Removal of the school-based process for mascot change.
  • Clarified categories for naming schools.
  • Added language to require school names and mascots to be in alignment with policy and values.
  • Added language clarifying the Superintendent has the right to remove a school name or mascot.

“Juanita High School students, staff, parents, alumni and community have the opportunity to write the next chapter of Juanita High School,” Dr. Holmen stated. “Juanita has always been a place that welcomes unique individuals and helps them find a place. It is truly a special place.”

“I understand there are stakeholders that do not agree with this decision,” Dr. Holmen continued. “I do not disparage them for their disagreement. The connection of school and those experiences help to create memories and meaningful human connections. A common identity, such as a mascot, can help define those memories and connections. A mascot should act as a mechanism that unites a student body and furthers positive connections.”

“Regardless of your view of this decision, I hope everyone connected with Juanita can come together to take this next step forward,” Dr. Holmen stated. “We all have a responsibility to our current and future students to make this next chapter great.”


About Lake Washington: Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington. It is the second largest district in the state of Washington, with over 31,100 students in 56 schools.