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Out with the Canfield cardinal, in with the black squirrel?

Published: Mon, July 4, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.

Hundreds sign petition for mascot change

By Elise Franco



One teacher is ready to usher in a district rebirth for Canfield schools, starting with the beloved mascot.

Stacy Madison, a math teacher at Canfield High School, recently started gathering signatures for a petition to change Canfield school district’s mascot, the cardinal, to a black squirrel.

Madison said when the residents voted down an operating levy in November 2010 and again in May 2011, they were voting against tradition.

“It became apparent that the people of Canfield are calling for change, and change is what they’ve gotten,” he said, referencing cuts in courses, busing and staffing. “It seems to me that it’s the perfect time to change the mascot.”

Madison said the petition isn’t meant to offend and isn’t an attempt at placing blame. He said the black squirrel as the new Canfield mascot would represent the new Canfield schools.

“What would be better than a black squirrel? They’re running rampant around Canfield,” he said. “This movement might be misconstrued as a punishment for voting the levy down. ... But I really think a black squirrel is a better mascot, so how could it be a penalty?”

But Superintendent Dante Zambrini disagreed.

“There are many who fondly remember Canfield schools with the cardinal symbol,” he said. “Some people, who indeed work in the district, thought that possibly it was tongue-in- cheek and weren’t sure if they should take it seriously.”

Madison said he’s gathered more than 400 signatures belonging to students, teachers and staff and Canfield residents and plans to present the petition to the school board before the November election.

He said his hope is that the board will then allow Canfield residents to vote on the change.

“We’re just getting started, and people are very excited about this,” he said. “I’ve already had students come up with new mascot cheers and logos.”

One such idea is Madison’s official change-the-mascot slogan: “Change is hard, but we’re not looney. The black squirrels are in Canfield. The Cardinals are at Mooney” — a reference to Cardinal Mooney High School in the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

Zambrini said Madison approached him several weeks ago and explained the petition. He said he relayed the information to the board.

“The board’s position is, we are continuing to work and strive for excellence of the school district,” he said. “Our goal is to focus primarily on the education of the students. I don’t think there is an alert to change the mascot to accomplish that goal.”

Madison said he understands that the board doesn’t support this petition, but he intends to continue to push for the change.

“The only argument anyone gives me to keep the cardinal is because it’s tradition,” he said. “My counter is, voters voted down tradition. It’s time for change.”


1larrythewineguy(50 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It appears Mr. Madison can't comprehend how the good people of Canfield would reject such common sense budget increases for his employer. (My sarcasm is surpassed only by Mr. Madison's petition drive.) If Stacy has viewed the documentary Waiting for Superman, he certainly exhibits no comprehension of this sobering review of public education in our nation. Stacy should be more appreciative of his positively luxurious work environment. Further, why do many teachers and other public employees expect all other tax payers to fund deficit spending for their chosen careers? In the private sector, employees do more with less in difficult times. There is no ballot initiative for the private sector. If Stacy is dissatisfied with his current employment situation, he can easily seek alternative opportunities. Good luck. I am certain his selfless, team attitude and sophomoric wit will impress potential employers.

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

With limited income, how would the school pay to change over to the new mascot? I could see thousands of dollars in art design, printing, new signs etc.

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3Thesilentmajority(5 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Ok....this is pure idiocy on two parts. First, on the part of this "teacher" who would propose such an idea for ANY proud city or school district. Secondly, The Vindicator. Is this really news??? Let alone front page news??? I know it must be a slow news day, but surely there must have been a more important/worthy story that could have been on the front page other than this one. Come on people, I've see highschool/college newspapers that make better story choices!

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4jimbeeman(6 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Who are the 400 "Black Squirrel NUTS" that signed that petition???

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5PaulVan(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

As the leader of the school district, the Superintendent needs to step in and stop stupidity like this. It obvious that this educator doesn’t understand how serious the voters are about real changes being made before passing the school levy. Instead of having a mascot change on the ballot in November, there should be a ballot measure to disband the 7 school system unions. Only then can real change be made.

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6taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"It became apparent that the people of Canfield are calling for change, and change is what they’ve gotten,” he said, referencing cuts in courses, busing and staffing. “It seems to me that it’s the perfect time to change the mascot.”

Hmm but this is not meant to offend or blame anybody. What an idiot and this puts Canfield in a bad light. I'm surprised it was put in the paper.

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7republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

So now we have a snippy teacher snidely tweaking the voters of Canfield.
He should make like a squirrel and "don't bite the hand that feeds you".

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8mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This was an attempt to SLAP the voters in the face for not approving the levy. Nothing more---nothing less. He is an embarrasment to the teachers and to the administration. He needs a new career.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago



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10kfarley13(16 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

What kind of teacher is this???? Loyal to the school system???? Sound like a guy that cares about all the alumni who are Canfield Cardinals. He goes along with the squirrel - NUTS!!!!!

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11simpleton(33 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

lmao...you guys have made my 4th, thank you for the laughs!

As for you Mr. Madison,
I think the people of Canfield meant a change in the administration, not the mascot. Dumb A$%!!!
Oh, thanks for further ruining the reputation and my opinion of the town I grew up in.

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12lumper(301 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

how about a mascot that depicts the school superintendent/teachers reaching into the pocket of joe taxpayer in order to pay for their high and mighty lifestyle ?

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13lumper(301 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

how much money does this %^&* want to spend to " put it on the ballot "

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14ts1227(137 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

With as fickle and mindless as voters have become in the past few years (about any issue), it's about time they start being insulted.

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15CanfieldBlackSquirrel(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, come on! I think it's a good idea. He IS right... I mean so many classes are gone and a few teachers who will be missed greatly! Im proud to be a black squirrel! And people who keep calling Mr.Madison these horrible names should be ashamed. He's still a teacher. He still teaches your children and deserves respect. Plus this is a public site and other children could get on and see your comments. He has the right to try and pass this petition, and what harm is it honestly? Let the man be.

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16taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

squirrel, you must be a teacher too, and with the immature process put into this thing you both are making the teachers look VERY childish. Imagine if that much effort was put into finding a way to solve the problems instead of being childish!

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17Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

CanfieldBlackSquirrel :

"Im proud to be a black squirrel!"

Pride is good . I'm proud that you're proud .

The new proposed mascot would look good on the yearbook . . ..


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18taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Good one Stan lol

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19taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

TS-that statement alone shows you are a teacher too. I don't think this insulted anyone. More like it just shows the pettiness, along with you and canfieldblacksquirrel. I'm so glad I don't live in Canfield! What a way to show society that this is a great community!

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20ts1227(137 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, it wasn't meant to even directly address this issue taxpayer. I was saying it as a blanket statement about today's political climate. I know very little of the specific situation on Canfield.

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21walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Here is the tradition to which Mr Madison is accustomed:
'06-'07: $65,459
'07-'08: $66,769
'08-'09: $69,725
'09-'10: $71,642
'10-'11: $73,075

I'm not sure if those amounts are his base or if they include the supplemental contract for coaching wrestling. That's an 11.6% total increase over a five year period at a time when the average person's wages or salary is flat. If he is concerned about the students, maybe he would give back some of his raises so that some of his union brothers or sisters could keep their positions.

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22uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Voting for change means voting for new school board members--looking forward to that. Canfield Black Squirrel you can forget me ever respecting Mr. Madison, I owe him nothing and resent any of my tax $$ going to pay his salary. He does not deserve respect. Mr. Madison has me rethinking the whole SB 5 issue. Is wrestling really a sport?? Maybe we can make it a club sport in Canfield with pay to play.

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23klad12(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

i hope everyone realizes that this is to make a point! you all are bashing him when really it's to make everyone realize that by YOU ALL voting OUR LEVY down, the cardinal has no purpose. the cardinal stands for EXCELLENCE IN CANFIELD, and since no one seems to want to maintain that then we might as well be the black squirrels. so many classes, clubs, teachers, busing, and sports have been taken away because of YOUR selfishness. i was hoping for a fun senior year but with all these cuts, who even knows?! open your damn eyes its not about wasting money, its to prove a point and if you are all too selfish and into money to see that then you should move out of canfield!

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24Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

LOL.LOL.LOL. - - -Go black squirrels hit em in the nuts.LOL!

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25tkytown(43 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Madison has brought attention to himself, his dumb idea and the school district. As if this school district really needs attention.......I say transfer the Canfield teachers to Youngstown City Schools and prove to us you're excellent teachers since you say you are an Excellent district with excellent teachers. I don't begrudge anyone a livable salary, I'm sure he earns his salary, but come on' this campaign is stupid!

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26uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Let's get out our towels and weep for klad who is going to have a lousy sr. year because the all the selfish people of Canfield voted the levy down. BOO HOO.
The Cardinal was the Canfield mascot long before schools were rated as excellent. Go get a job or ask mommy and daddy to pay for you to go to private school. I hear that Western Reserve Academy in Hudson is excellent. You should fit in perfectly, that is if you are smart enough to be accepted there. There are plenty of black squirrels running around in Summit county, so you should be right at home.

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27klad12(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

uptowngirl wow shows how much you know. not all Canfield kids get everything from their rich "mommy and daddy." That's one stereotype of Canfield that i DESPISE! For all you know, my parents could be dead. But actually, if you really wanted to know, my parents are divorced and I havent seen my father in years. My mom is nowhere near rich but we are fortunate enough to live in a nice neighborhood in Canfield. Oh, I am on the honor roll so I really would have no problem getting into that school if i really wanted to. Too bad it doesn't interest me. You should probably think before you open your mouth and make huge generalizations about people.

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28uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

klad 12: Your comments certainly came across as self centered entitled little brat. Reading your comments about how the voters ruined all the fun of your senior year would make me change my mind about voting for the school levy. Speaking of huge generalizations--I am not the person who characterized all the voters in Canfield as selfish. SO because you come from a divorced family the voters of Canfield owe you a "fun senior year." You chose to whine about no fun with no mention of missing out on the 4th year of a foreign language or not being competitive for colleges because of curriculum cuts--that is what generated the stereotype you hate. Happy that you are on the honor roll, but not many students who have attended public schools (no matter how excellent) are able to get into Western Reserve.

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29klad12(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

uptowngirl i dont care about getting into western reserve because i love canfield. and part of the "fun" is taking a language because i LOVE taking spanish and well obviously i can't take a 4th year of it so yeah i am concerned about that. and no one owes me ANYTHING i just think the levy should pass so we have just as much of an opportunity to get into a school as someone who took four years of a language or had different things that we arent offered anymore.

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