Kennett schools to keep traditional ‘K’ logo10/12/2022 11:57PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Consolidated School District Superintendent Dusty Blakey announced at the school board meeting on Oct. 10 that the district will retain its traditional block “K” logo that has been its symbol for at least a half century.
“The community voice was heard,” Blakey said. “We will use the [block K for both athletics] and academically, with no more different iterations.”
The controversy over the possibility of a new logo first surfaced when former school board member and football coach volunteer Nick Perigo said at the board’s Sept. 12 meeting the district appeared to be using a new logo on T-shirts, publicity items and documents without public announcement or board approval, which upset him.
Shortly afterward, his statements received widespread support from the community in the form of a petition objecting to the new design -- a simple “K” within a circle. The petition received more than 2,000 signatures.
Perigo appeared again this week during the public input session at the end of the meeting, which was held at the Mary D. Lang School library before 30 in attendance.
“Thank you for hearing us,” he said. “It’s apparent that [the community] embraces the [block] logo and the school district.”
He added some of his thoughts on what had transpired in the past month and what he believes the board should hear, first by praising the district for welcoming a new and forward-looking administration, many of them with roots outside of Kennett Square. He encouraged them to attend events in Kennett Square as a manner of knowing the community.
Perigo told the board that he and many others viewed the debut of the new logo as an act of micromanaging without listening to the public, and questioned whether in the process of creating a new logo the branding committee had spent time considering the cost of a change.
“It’s imperative that we get to ask questions,” he said. “I don’t think enough questions were asked. What was the plan and cost for changing letterhead, the logo on the basketball court and the logo on the water tower? If it was a pilot program, when was the start and finish?”
Perigo said that he believes the administration meant no harm, but that the issuance of the logo felt like a “rubber stamp” -- something the board members had said they avoid, and further, that he had been told that the traditional logo had been “sunsetted.”
Several members of the board were quick to defend the process the branding committee followed. Board member Don Kohler said the old logo was “never in danger. It was exploratory,” and added that the board members make all their decisions on open meetings, and the public should come to the subcommittee meetings [on other nights] to find out what is under consideration. Board member Jeff McVey said that the conversation that followed the idea of a logo change stimulated an awareness of issues with the public.
Board President Vicki Gehrt concluded the discussions with a note of conciliation.
“Nothing happens behind closed doors,” she said. “If we make a couple mistakes along the way, we correct them. We may have taken a road we shouldn’t have, [but] we corrected it.”
She insisted that the board invites public feedback.
“Every one of our board is open. We ask you to come talk to us,” she said. “Everyone makes mistakes. If we don’t say we’re sorry, we’re not on track. We have corrected ourselves.”