The tale of the Tempest

The story behind our paper’s new name


Art by Ursula Stickelmaier

by Audrey Gray, staff

A discerning eye might notice that a new name graces the cover of our student newspaper. We’re no longer the Kolus, or the question mark; our publication is now called the Shorewood Tempest, the voice of the Stormrays.

In the February issue of our paper, we explained the rationale behind the change, but were still undecided on our new name. Initially, our paper needed to change its name due to the governor’s bill banning the use of mascots derived from Native American cultures. Our school’s mascot changed, and so did the newspaper’s; the old name, the Kolus, was taken from the name of the Thunderbird’s younger sibling throughout Pacific Northwestern mythologies.

Throughout the entire process of selecting a new name for our paper, we’ve been taking inspiration from the mascot committee’s decision on a new symbol for Shorewood, and coming up with ideas that we feel reflect both our paper and the role it plays in the Shorewood community. It’s taken a long time to choose our new name, but what exactly went into the process? 

The short answer is lots of time, surveys, and brainstorming sessions. After the mascot was announced to be the Stormray, we had a class discussion to come up with some possible categories for name ideas. We came up with a few ideas that were inspired by the sea, storms, our Pacific Northwest location, and the Stormray itself, and narrowed it down with class surveys to a few, which were featured in a poll on our website. The stand-out winners of that poll were the Tempest, the Atlas, and the Siren– the most popular names after our in-class votes, too. 

After that, we had many brainstorming sessions in which we discussed the meanings and associations of each name. Ultimately, the Tempest was the most popular and well-rounded name among us. We agreed that it was elegant and professional, exciting and novel, and as a powerful storm, it had a strong connection to the Stormray. To us, the Tempest represented the Stormray’s storm, the figurative voice of the mascot, and of the student body itself. 

However, as soon as we thought that we had decided on our name, we realized that there was an entire official process of naming publications that we had not followed. First, we set up a survey that was sent out to students, staff me

mbers, parents, alumni, and community members, asking them for name suggestions. We received a few notable ones; the Current, the Sound, the Tide, and the Pelagic were added to consideration by a committee of parents, staff, students, and alumni, and the Siren and the Atlas were both eliminated. 

Finally, the time had come for a massive, school-wide survey for all the students in the school. The survey received over 250 responses, and we got our final three options. The Current led by a wide margin, followed by the Tempest, and then by the Sound. We took these decisions back to our class, and we voted among ourselves on our favorite names. The Tempest then took the lead once again, followed by the Current, and we finally submitted our ordered choices to the superintendent for approval. 

Much more thought and input went into the process for picking a new name than we had anticipated, but we came through with what seems to be the perfect name for our paper. The Kolus had been our paper’s name since it was founded, in the 70s, and now our newspaper class gets the honour of starting a new era for our publication. The Tempest is our new legacy. It’s what we’ll carry on to future newspaper classes at this school, just as the Kolus was carried on to us in the past– and we couldn’t be more excited to take on this responsibility.