Cortez schools will soon have a new emblem, as the school board unanimously approved a logo to represent the Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 at its Tuesday night meeting.
Board members were presented with two options by TJ Zark, a local branding and design professional, and Carol Mehesy, director of school improvement and grants. Directors chose the logo featuring a purple Sleeping Ute Mountain, versus one with capital “MC” letters at the center.
“I like the Ute one better than the MC,” said board member Lance McDaniel. “It identifies the area and the county.”
The new logo comes as part of the district’s rebranding initiative, which has also involved creating a new tagline and identifying messaging streams, Zark and Mehesy said. They worked with teachers to come up with the branding messages and logo.
“The conversations with the teachers were powerful and in some ways life-changing, as a professional, because they spoke with passion, so much passion about why they’re here, what they see in their schools, and how this district brand needs to reflect that,” Zark said.
Both options on the table incorporated the approved tagline “Every Student. Every Day.”
The one ultimately selected by board features a purple depiction of the Sleeping Ute Mountain, in front of a large sun disk and above the district name. The new tagline is written on the upper left side.
“The Ute was definitely something that new teachers and longtime residents in the area resonated with it – every time you see the Ute, you’re home,” Zark said of their conversations with teachers. “No matter where you traveled to, once you see the Ute, you know that you’re home, so it brought a lot of emotion with it.”
The other option used orange “MC” letters as the logo’s focal point, with the tagline forming an arc above it in a semicircle, and the district name also at the emblem’s base.
Board president Sherri Wright said she liked the latter choice because of its neatness, but others worried that the “MC” could be confused for “Montezuma County.”
The Sleeping Ute logo was ultimately chosen, though it will need some tweaking, the board decided: They felt that the image doesn’t quite replicate the mountain’s shape.