Calipatria mascot design contest fosters creativity

To increase student engagement, promote academic success and improve school climate, Calipatria State Prison (CAL) held a mascot contest in which students would help create an identity they felt would best represent the school.

Man in blue inmate shirt hold a seagull drawing.
Calipatria Adult School mascot design winner R. Lopez.

The search for the new mascot was launched in May 2019. All students were notified and given two months to submit their entries. They were required to submit a pencil drawing of the mascot on an 8×10 piece of white paper along with their reasons describing why they felt their mascot best represents the CAL Adult School.

All of CAL’s Academic, Career and Technical Education students were allowed to participate in the contest. The school received many excellent mascot submissions.

A five-member educational-voting staff carefully weighed the visual impact, educational relevance, mascot reasoning, and creativity of each entry. Each submission was graded on a rubric and the mascot receiving the highest number overall was the winner.

Sam the Salton Sea Gull, designed by inmate Lopez, stood out as the winning entry.

“Sam has infinite potential and when he discovered this he learned to soar to heights previously unknown to him,” he said.

Lopez was photographed with the winning submission and was given a 5 x 7 photo. A poster size image of the drawing is displayed in the education office as a reminder to the staff that we are the Sea Gulls.

All participants received an appreciation letter thanking them for being involved in the contest. CAL Adult School is currently working on designing t-shirts with a Sea Gull and CAL logo so that staff can purchase them.