Gallatin High Raptors logo

Raptors will reign at Gallatin High School.

The new high school’s dinosaur mascot and logo were unveiled Monday night to the public via a student-made video, complete with menacing dinosaur growl and scream sound effects.

The logo features a stylized deinonychus dinosaur, with sharp teeth and claws, and three claw slashes, all done in the new school’s colors, royal blue and black.

Bozeman School Board trustees, who went through a lot of grief over several months as they struggled to pick a mascot that students and the public would support, gave the final version rave reviews.

“Very exciting,” School Board Chair Andy Willett said.

“I love them,” Trustee Greg Neil said of the logo images. He added that the slash marks would look cool on track uniforms or the shoulders of football uniforms. “Great job.”

Erica Schnee, principal of Gallatin High, said Bozeman High School art students did a great job of collaborating with the professional designers to come up with strong images for the new school’s logo, rather than trying to sabotage the school that will be their rival when it opens next fall.

She thanked student Dylan Fedyk for making the video, which will be sent to all eighth, ninth and 10th-graders who will attend the school next year.

Schnee added that Universal Athletics will be selling Gallatin High gear online starting Wednesday. Some trustees donned T-shirts with the new logo.

Classic Ink, a Bozeman marketing, graphic and web design agency led by Kietra Nelson, was chosen in September from three bidders to design the logo and mascot.

The company has also designed logos for Montana State University, Plonk, the Gallatin River Task Force, TedX Bozeman, Warriors and Quiet Waters and Hyalite Elementary School. It bid $8,000 for the high school mark, Raptor mascot mark, and logo guidelines, and $5,800 for the brand strategy and messaging.

“It’s a totally unique design,” Schnee said.

The school board chose the dinosaur raptor as the new school’s mascot in May after some controversy and opinion polls involving more than 400 students and 2,700 community members.

Originally volunteers on the high school Transition Committee chose the west slope cutthroat trout as the mascot. But when that idea ran into a barrage of public criticism and predictions that student athletes would be taunted by opponents, the School Board sent it back for further deliberation.

After narrowing hundreds of choices and considering finalists that included Timberwolves, Mountaineers, Ospreys and Rams, the school board chose Raptors.

Supporters said Raptors is a cool name, a fierce animal, popular with students and the community, gender neutral and unique among large Montana high schools. It also ties in with Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies, which features hundreds of Montana dinosaur fossils, including deinonychus, which look similar to the velociraptors of “Jurassic Park” movie fame. The word means terrible claw.

Some worried that Raptors could end up being a juvenile mascot if it ended up looking like Barney, the TV favorite of preschoolers. That was not the case with the final logo presented Monday.

Gallatin High, under construction at Oak Street and Cottonwood Road in fast-growing northwest Bozeman, is 70% complete, according to the latest construction report.

Builders said they needed the logo by Dec. 1, so it can be incorporated into the competition gym floor and walls of the school.

Plans also call for embedding two deinonychus footprints in the school’s outdoor plaza.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at gails@dailychronicle.com or 582-2633.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.