South Colonie selects new name following 11 month process

In a move aimed at embracing values of strength and togetherness, the South Colonie School District has announced its decision to rebrand its identity, with the name ‘Wolf Pack’ emerging as the favored choice among stakeholders. The South Colonie board of education adopted the resolution during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

The process of rebranding South Colonie has been described as a journey. “With Wolf Rd. being at the heart of Colonie, the connection to Wolf Pack made sense for a lot of our stakeholders,” said Dr. David Perry, Superintendent of Schools. “Wolves are often associated with strength, resilience, and determination. By adopting the name ‘Colonie Wolf Pack,’ a team can draw on these qualities to inspire confidence and spirit.”

The decision to rebrand follows recent regulations adopted by the New York State Board of Regents concerning team names, mascots, and logos, particularly those associated with Native American imagery. In compliance with these regulations, the South Colonie Board of Education adopted a resolution in June 2023 to discontinue the use of the name ‘Raiders’ aligned with the timeline provided by New York state.

The rebranding process commenced in early 2023 with the recruitment of volunteers interested in serving on the rebranding committee. Composed of community members, parents, teachers, coaches, students, building leadership, and board of education members, the committee began meeting in March 2023.

In July 2023, the district opened a 30-day window for feedback, receiving 265 responses with various suggestions. After narrowing down the options to four names, the district conducted over 20 focus groups between October and December 2023, inviting participation from PTAs, community members, students, and faculty to gather feedback. Two-thirds of the participants ultimately voted in favor of “Colonie Wolf Pack.”

“While the rebranding effort reflects our commitment to inclusivity and unity with the values embodied by the ‘Wolf Pack’ name, this new name does not take away our history in any way,” said Perry. “This moment is certainly bittersweet.” 

Looking ahead, the district is currently in the process of selecting a designer to work on the full rebrand, with plans to unveil images late in the current school year. 

Full Q&A can be found here.

NYSED Q&A here.