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Bannister Bucs? KHS seeks identity

POULSBO — Buccaneer, (buk-e-nîr) Defined:

1. A ruthless speculator or adventurer.

2. A pirate, especially one of the freebooters who preyed on Spanish shipping in the West Indies during the 17th century.

3. The mascot of the yet-to-be-built High School in Kingston.

The emblem of the professional football team in Tampa Bay as well as colleges and high schools around the country has been adopted for the new school, where it will ultimately to be inscribed in the school’s gymnasium floor, its artificial turf field and embedded in the school’s culture as their official mascot.

Bruce Saari, the school’s planning principal, announced the choice, which beat out second-place “Patriots,” at the school board’s regular Thursday biweekly meeting.

The next step is to select a community member to design the logo, which will happen next year, Saari said.

Board member Bethany McDonald questioned Saari to make sure the mascot could be seen as “gender neutral,” which he affirmed that it could. The room of administrators and community members also broke out in laughter when it was discovered the architects have been toying with the theme of “buried treasure.

Next up in the forming of the high school’s identity is finding an appropriate name.

Saari brought along three students — Wendy Bynum, Jessica Randall and Lauren Reichert for KJH — from the naming committee, which in total consisted of six community members and five junior high teens who have been meeting since April.

The naming committee received a total of 12 names, mostly by e-mail. The committee’s two public hearings had dismal attendance on May 3 and 19, with only a total of two people coming to as many meetings. Nonetheless, Saari said it gave the committee time to perform research on the names and contemplate each one carefully, using a scoring rubric to decide which names to pass onto the board.

“We seriously deliberated over each one and adhered strictly to the board policy,” Saari reported.

Of the names submitted, Kingston High School, “By far ... received the largest number of e-mails,” Saari said.

The school board was hesitant to accept the choice simply because of its namesake, asking for research into just how The Little City by the Sea got its title. That’s where the mystery began.

The naming committee reported that a man with the last name of “King,” who operated a motel for roaming loggers, gave the town its namesake as his establishment evolved from “King’s Place,” to “King’s Town,” to “Kingston,” in the 19th century.

Board Member Bethany McDonald disputed that fact, stating a lumberman named William P. Kingston donated his last name to the community around the same time frame.

There is no dispute, however, on another choice: Benjamin Bannister High School. Bannister, the supposed founder of the original Apple Tree Cove community that became Kingston, was also one of its first three school board members of the local district, the naming committee reported.

“I thought (that) sounded good with Benjamin Bannister Buccaneers,” Ahl said.

The third submittal was to name the school after the town Bannister established, thus creating Apple Tree Cove High School.

The final choice delivered was more to do with logic than namesake: West Kingston High School. The rationale of the name was that the school will be located along West Kingston Road and “WKHS,” would match the acronyms of other area high schools “NKHS,” “CKHS,” and “SKHS.”

The school board will deliver the choice of the name at their June 23 public meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the North Kitsap School District’s administrative offices.

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“Buccaneer” Definition source: Dictionary.com

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