New School District logo is near completion |

New School District logo is near completion

Draft of the logo, designed by two students, unveiled for School Board members Monday

Brent Boyer

The Steamboat Springs School District is getting a new look.

Two high school students are designing a new logo for the district after a recommendation from the National School Public Relations Association.

A draft of the logo was unveiled to School Board members Monday, and pending some minor revisions, the design should begin appearing on district letterhead, business cards, newsletters, T-shirts and other materials and apparel.

“It will be implementing a new direction for the school district,” Superintendent Donna Howell said of the logo.

The logo, which features a large boat anchor in the foreground and, depending on interpretation, a set of waves or mountains in the background, was designed by Steamboat Springs High School art students Nicole Balvanz and Matthew Holthausen. Wrapping around the top of the logo are the words “Steamboat Springs School District,” and around the bottom is the phrase “Anchoring the Future.”

The students began work on the design in February, about two months after the conclusion of a series of community focus forums organized by Howell for the purpose of setting a new direction for the district. Part of what was discussed during those forums was the creation of a new logo and theme for the district. The forums also resulted in new district mission, vision and beliefs statements.

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A new logo and theme were two recommendations given to the district in a 65-page communication audit report done by the National School Public Relations Association in October.

“As (the Steamboat Springs School District) begins a new era under new leadership, it should also consider updating the existing district logo,” read a section of the report, which cost the district about $10,000. “Focus groups repeatedly described SSSD as ‘progressive’ and it would be appropriate for its logo to reflect this with a clean, stylish design that is immediately recognizable across the community.”

Balvanz and Holthausen, with help from Technology Director Cathleen Nardi and high school art teacher Rich Galusha, used focus forum input and also interviewed forum participants to help develop the logo. The students also worked with professional graphic artist Greg Effinger.

“The process was really unique,” Nardi said. “I’m so proud of these kids, I can’t even begin to tell you.”

The design was met with praise from School Board members.

“I’m very impressed,” School Board President Paula Stephenson said. “You guys did a great job.”

For nearly a decade, the district has used a logo designed by Strawberry Park Elementary School art teacher Jude Black. That design is a sketch of a male student and a female student with the phrase “Excellence in Education for All Students.”

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