Feature Story

Meet Alexander the Athenian

CHS unveils new mascot to the public


Alexander the Great was a great warrior and leader for Athens, Greece as the tales are told. The stories of his great heroics are what drew inspiration for what the Crawfordsville Community School Corporation (CCSC) was able to debut last Friday when ‘Alexander the Athenian’ made his long awaited appearance at Crawfordsville’s girl/boy double-header vs Frankfort. The new Athenian mascot was months in the making and the work of plenty of people behind the scenes including CHS superintendent Dr. Rex Ryker, Crawfordsville Principal Jay Strickland and many more.

Dr. Ryker notes the early stages of that process and how Alexander became a reality.

We have heard “we need a mascot” for many years, so Alexander is truly a creation of the Athenian Spirit,” he said. “In May, a new administration team began meeting; we focused our planning and initiatives on ensuring a safe, learning-focused, and fun school environment for all.  As we broke down initiatives, the mascot fell into the fun category.  Ms. Amber Reed, our Food Service and Student Services director and lifelong Athenian, had a great idea that our mascot could promote our student nutrition programming, so she initiated the first conversations.  Dr. (Brent) Bokhart, Mr. Strickland, and Mr. (Bryce) Barton were added to the creative team.  Then, as we planned for Alexander’s reveal, we involved Mrs. Haas, Mrs. Chandler, and Mrs. Tebbe were involved so we could involve the Dance and Cheer teams.”

In the week leading up his grand reveal at last Friday’s game, the CCSC also put out small teaser trailers showing Alexander in many different activities in the school. The involvement with Alexander as far as who is actually behind the outfit, well that will stay a secret. Strickland did elaborate slightly on who gets to dawn the Alexander costume.

“We have really tried to keep the identity of individuals working as Alex a total secret,” the CHS principal said.  “Since we were revealing in the middle of the school year, our selection process was based on who we felt would be the best fit and really bring Alex to life for students, staff and fans. I see this selection process evolving over the next couple of years. Much like the process to create the mascot, I believe we will always have a team of individuals serving as Alex and connecting with students and fans.”

Ryker also added the Alexander will also be used in many different aspects of CHS other than athletics. Whether it be promoting nutritional programs during lunch, giving out awards at the elementary schools and interacting with future Athenians, there’s plenty of things planned for the face of the Athenians. Choosing the name of Alexander was a pretty easy choice also as Ryker adds.

“The first drawing of the “Athenian Warrior” was received in early June,” he said.  “Alexander’s name as Alexander the Athenian was a rather easy decision.  As Crawfordsville is known as the Athens of Indiana, we looked to historical Athens for inspiration.  The greatest historical Athenian is Alexander the Great, so Alexander the Athenian.  He is a mythological son of Athena, the god of wisdom and war.  Those who bring Alexander to life capture the spirit of Athena in that they must be creative and athletic.”

The over-arching goal for this mascot you might ask? Well it’s a multitude of things but most importantly Alexander is being used to bring a sense of excitement back into CCSC schools.

“The goal is definitely to bring excitement and energy to CHS and all of our schools and community,” Strickland said.  “It also will add another important element of positive school and community spirit.”

Ryker summed up his final thoughts as when it was revealed to the Athenian community, it got a thunderous roar from the CHS faithful. It’s safe to say all of the months of the behinds the scenes planning and the overall idea of Alexander was a roaring success.

“I am proud of Alexander because of the true team effort that went into his creation and presentation,” Ryker concluded. “He embodies the many strengths and the diversity of being an Athenian. When I see Alexander, I see the shared vision of a team caring for our schools and wanting an excellent experience for all of our school community; I see the Athenian Way.”

So the next time you’re out and about at an athletic event at CHS or a function being put on by CCSC, you just might run into Alexander.