By Bill Shorts
The Millington School Board has assigned the black and gold colors and the Trojan mascot to all three schools that it will operate beginning this fall.
Board members took the action during their Jan. 4 “virtual” monthly meeting on a motion offered by Mark Coulter and seconded by Marlon Evans. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with C. J. Haley absent.
James “Bo” Griffin, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, said this will give the district “more identity” under the slogan of One Millington. He also said it will help financially, because “bulk” purchases can be made with the two colors.
Griffin noted that Millington Middle School has already started to take down some of the blue and white colors and to display the black and gold “M” in its hallways. It has also changed the uniforms for the football and basketball teams.
He said the Trojan logo will be more “child-friendly” for the Pre-K through third-graders and slightly more “mature” for the fourth- through sixth-graders.
He reiterated that, by putting the One Millington slogan “in front of everything,” the district can “come together” and move forward with that “spirit and connection.”
“When I was growing up in Jacksonville, Ark.,” he recalled, “I couldn’t wait to be a Red Devil. And that’s what it was all about.”
During discussion shortly before the vote, board member Barbara Halliburton asked how much needs to be done from a “facilities standpoint,” other than standard painting, to make that kind of change. As examples, she mentioned signage and wall murals.
Griffin said Philip Leblanc, supervisor of Operations and Transportation for the district, already has a plan for the signs that are in stone outside of all the school buildings. They will be placed in the Circle of Honor across the parking lot from the Performing Arts Center.
He also said the schools’ interior walls will be painted either white or light gray, because those colors reflect light the best.
Griffin noted that the change will also help the district with its “branding.”
He said Hank Hawkins, the Athletic and Career Technical Education director, is working with a company to put that branding in all the schools.
Griffin noted that “roadside banners” can also be hung from street lights or telephone poles.
“So, when you see that ‘M,’ you know what it stands for,” he said, “not just in Millington, but across the state of Tennessee and elsewhere.”
Griffin concluded that making the change will not be “as expensive as everybody thinks,” because only “a few things” need to be done.
He said Leblanc and Chief Financial Officer Kyle Wright have done a “great job” making sure the district is getting the “most bang for the buck.”
At a March 2020 special called meeting, the board voted unanimously to close E. A. Harrold Elementary School at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
Late last year, the board voted unanimously to reassign students to the three remaining schools during the 2021-22 academic year and to rename the facilities.Beginning this August, Millington Elementary, Middle and Central High schools will be renamed Millington Primary, Intermediate and Central Middle/High, respectively.
All Pre-K through third-grade students will be assigned to the Primary, all fourth- through sixth-graders to the Intermediate and grades 7-12 to the Central Middle/High School.