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Apparel makes smooth transition at middle schools

When the 2007-08 school year kicked off Sept. 5, Kingston Junior High School and Poulsbo Junior High School officially became middle schools for the first time.

However, the switch from junior high to middle school hasn’t adversely affected apparel at either North End school. Even though both of the schools made the transition, Kingston and Poulsbo retained their mascots and are still called the Cavaliers and Panthers respectively.

Poulsbo Middle School Principal Matt Vandeleur said all athletic teams at PMS will use the same athletic uniforms from last year.

“We were very fortunate that all of our sports uniforms said either Poulsbo or Panthers and didn’t say anything with regards to junior high or middle school,” he said. “The uniforms are pretty generic and allows us to keep the same ones from before.”

Vandeleur said the school is fortunate it didn’t have to dole out funds for new uniforms.

“The uniforms we have right now are pretty sharp,” he said. “It’s really nice we can go with what we have right now. New uniforms can be quite pricey. We’re happy with what we have.”

Items such as T-shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts were easy to update this school year.

“Those are the kind of items that we order year to year,” he said. “All of the items we ordered for this year are Poulsbo Middle School items.”

Vandeleur said there aren’t many PJH products left from school years floating around the building.

“During our August Panther preview day is when the bulk of the orders are placed by parents and students for what kind of items they want every year,” he said. “After the orders are made, there’s isn’t a lot of extra items left over after that. The PTA takes orders and there isn’t much extra stock sitting around after the items arrive.”

Despite the switch, Vandeleur said the it isn’t uncommon for him to see a student wearing PJH apparel while walking the hallways during the school day.

“If you walk around the school you will see a few students walking around with PJH clothes. Typically, it’s younger kids who received their clothes from an older sibling who attended PJH in the past,” he said.

Vandeleur said there are a few items in the school that haven’t been switched over to PMS just quite yet.

“All of the bandstands still have PJH on them and the marching band banner still says PJH,” he said. “That will have to be changed in the future.”

Kingston Middle School athletic director Bob Good anticipated the grade level reconfiguration change from a junior high to middle school years ago and planned accordingly for the switch.

“For the past five years I’ve been making uniform orders (without junior high spattered across each uniform) planning for it,” he said. “We’re going to be able to use the same uniforms in most of our sports. The uniforms will transfer over. The only sport getting new uniforms is wrestling.”

Good said he was glad the entire faculty of Kingston Middle School had planned so well.

“I’m glad we looked far enough ahead so we could do something for when the switch happened,” he said. “We knew Kingston High was opening and planned ahead for what kind of uniforms we were going to need.”

KMS Principal Susan Wistrand concurred with Good.

“We have been preparing for this switch for the past five years. Everything we have ordered at the school has either said Kingston or Cavaliers. We planned ahead and made sure everything was generic. It was something we talked a lot about,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of items left over that we can’t use. We don’t have a lot of things left that say KJH.”

Wistrand said the welcome mat in front of KMS still says Kingston Junior High, but added that the mat itself will be switched to a Kingston Middle School mat sooner rather than later.

“The ASB already has raised funds for a new mat. They are on top of it,” she said. “They raised funds in anticipation for this change. Within the next month I expect a new mat to be out there. Right now they’re looking for the kind of mat they want.”

Good said the only temporary hiccup so far this school year regarding uniforms had nothing to do with the grade level reconfigurations, but with the welcomed increased amount of participants on the football team.

“We had 55 players turn out for the team and only 35 game uniforms,” he said. “We don’t have enough uniforms so we’ll use our practice jerseys in games this year. When the dust settles, this is something we’ll address next year. The game uniforms were donated years ago when we had a lower number of players. We were surprised to have that amount of football players turn out.”

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