Naperville Central High School
Naperville, Illinois

Naperville Community Unit School District 203 - World Class

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Naperville Central
High School

440 West Aurora Avenue
Naperville, Illinois 60540-6298

Bill Wiesbrook, Principal

Main Office: 630.420.6420
Health Office: 630.420.6561

School Hours: 7:45 AM-3:10 PM

Home // About Our School // Our Mascot

Our Mascot

 History of the NCHS Mascot

original NCHS Redskin mascot

Current NCHS Redhawk Mascot



A school mascot serves as a great motivator and generates unity among students and staff. Since 1939, when the Redskin mascot was established, Naperville Central High School has taken great pride in its mascot. The school, however, has endured much controversy over its original Redskin mascot and has worked hard to establish the Redhawk in its place. 

The Redskin mascot was used for 54 years without any criticism. During that time it was not considered a racial slur but a symbol of bravery and dignity. More recently, Native Americans voiced offense at the term, considering it derogatory. On April 2, 1992, an agency of the Illinois State Board of Education recommended that NCHS drop the name after receiving a residential complaint.

In response to the ISBE recommendation Naperville Central student government canvassed the entire student body. Students voted to retain the mascot by a 10-1 ratio. Despite this support, the school board, on June 15, voted against the Redskin name, 5-2. Students and members of the Naperville community organized petitions and protests, forcing a school board review. Despite community pressure the school board remained firm: NCHS had to change its mascot.

On October 21st, NCHS voted on a new mascot. Students had several choices: The Cardinals, Chargers, Crimson Knights, Crimson Pride, Cougars, Razorbacks, Redhawks, Scorpions and Wolverines. Taking a stand against the forced change, nearly half of the student body did not vote. Those who did vote selected the Redhawks. This new mascot paved the way for the rebirth of Central pride. Naperville Central is the only high school in the state of Illinois to have the Redhawk name.

A red hawk is an especially appropriate mascot for NCHS. A red-tailed hawk, sometimes called a redhawk, is common in the Midwest. More significantly, a young hawk remains high above the ground in its nest, following its elders until learning to live independently. Naperville Central High School now hopes that its students, like young hawks, will achieve a new sense of accomplishment and pride as they learn lessons from their elders and achieve their own independence.

(A moving, poetic tribute to both mascots was written by retired Math Department Chair, Mr. Richard Nelson.  Click on either mascot at the top of the page to view these poems.)

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