The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

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History of The Purple Beast


As an HSMSE student, have you ever stopped to look at the school’s logo or mascot?  Do you even notice the enormous dragon head attached to the pipes in the C-floor hallway?  

Most school mascots act as symbols for a school community and are heavily associated with sports teams.  At  HSMSE, while  the school’s track and cross country teams are known as the  “Flying Dragons,” does the rest of the school associate their school lives and interests with a dragon?  

 Firstly, why a dragon? How did our mascot come to be?  

One of our longest standing teachers in the school,  Mr. Hershow and Mr. Pelligrino, offered the following insights:

Mr Hershow’s explains:

“During HSMSE’s construction when we all had to wait for it to finish and be in trailers, the school seemed to ‘rise out of ashes’ and ‘rose out of nothing,’ like a phoenix.  The mascot was at first a phoenix, and eventually became a dragon.”

According to the school’s website, the creation of the school started when the founders of HSMSE visiting Baskerville Hall, thought the old school building was appealing and turned it into a high school.  The aesthetic of the building was similar to a fantasy-esque Harry Potter’s Hogwarts and so the dragon mascot seemed in line with HSMSE’s new home.

A poll conducted by The Echo shows that a majority of students at HSMSE associate themselves with the school mascot.  In addition,  56% of HSMSE students believe that the mascot accurately represents themselves and the school community.

The majority of poll responses also agree that a dragon is a fitting symbol for the school.

If so many students identify and associate HSMSE with a dragon, why doesn’t the dragon appear more often in Baskerville?

The HSMSE dragon doesn’t have much of a presence in the school, the mascot appears only in the school logo and as a dragon head on the C-Floor. Also, on occasion, an unknown HSMSE student is dressed up as the dragon mascot and arrives at C-day events.

The badge pictured here is commonly used in emails sent out by the school. These STEM symbols reflect our school’s academic focus, but leaves out much of our larger school identity. The dragon mascot allows HSMSE to be recognized as more than just a STEM school.  The more common usage of this logo hides the appearance of the HSMSE dragon and the unity of the school community the mascot represents. The survey indicates that students like the dragon as a mascot and so maybe it should be more prominently featured in HSMSE communications and signage.

The student community views the current mascot as a good representation of HSMSE.

In conclusion, the history of HSMSE’s mascot is something that a lot of students probably don’t know about and something that should be used to build school spirit when students arrive in the community. The appearance of the mascot in normal school settings should be increased because it ultimately will promote  unity for students both in and outside of HSMSE sports teams.  

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