School system’s debated new logo back to the drawing board

Left, the proposed logo presented to the board. Right, the draft preferred by Board Member Roy Rabold.

Tweaks are on the table for the proposed new logo for Fayette County Public Schools. Still split on what the logo looks like, the Board of Education decided to hold off on a final vote at their Feb. 4 work session.

At question is what the logo looks like to different people. It is intended to be a diamond representing excellence and a flame symbolizing knowledge, but there is a sentiment among some that the finished product looks like female genitalia.

Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow said the debate comes down to personal perception.

“When you look at logos, everybody has a different perception,” he said. “I feel like we’re at a point where we’re ready to go. I know there have been some perceptions of maybe the design looking a little different. Clearly that’s not what we see. We see something brand new, clean, and fresh.”

Board Member Dr. Barry Marchman maintained his stance that he could not vote for the new logo.

“As a representative of so many people that have expressed what they see to me in the logo, I’m just not going to be able to raise my hand for it,” he said. “I’m just going to say the empress has no clothes, and I’m going to urge a no vote by the Board.”

Marchman referenced Barrow’s analogy from the previous meeting where he said, “We’ve been cooking this for a while, we’ve baked it, and we think it’s done.”

“Sometimes when we pull something out of the oven, we go out to eat,” said Marchman. “Especially when my 10 year old cooks, we don’t always serve what comes out of the oven.”

Board Member Roy Rabold, who was not on the board during the design process, said he had researched the logo and found that many on social media pointed to the tip of the flame as a particular point of contention, and he advocated for reworking just that selection portion.

“If we know up front that a certain percentage or a certain population is going to come at us if we adopt this logo just for that one particular point on the top of the flame, is it that hard just to change that and then adopt the logo?,” he asked. “I just hate to have negative feedback about one particular point which we could do something about.”

The logo likely had the votes to pass, but Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow was not ready to force the issue. Citing a preference for unanimous support, Barrow said he will take the logo back to Public Relations Specialist Melinda Berry-Dreisbach in hopes of finding a logo they can all get behind.

“If I’m king and rule the world, I’d love to have a 5-0 vote on this one thing. It represents a lot for us moving forward, and I want Dr. Marchman and everyone else to be able to raise their hand. That’s important to us,” said Barrow. “I don’t mind us tweaking this a little bit more if it will get us to the point where we have 100 percent consensus. This is too important to us moving forward not to work towards that.”

A tweaked logo could return to the agenda at the Feb. 25 meeting if they think they have something the whole community can get behind.

“We’ll hammer on this just a little bit more,” said Barrow.

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