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Beloved wolf statue given to school by graduating students

Nov 03, 2017 10:08AM ● Published by Julie Slama

Channing Hall students gather around their beloved wolf statue, a gift to the school from the graduating class of 2017. (Heather Shepherd/Channing Hall)

This fall, several students pet Koda, their metal-cast statue of their wolf mascot. The statue was a gift from the eighth-grade graduating class last spring.

In the second year graduating classes have given gifts to the school, parent Jen Hymas helped students bring the statue to the school.

“An eighth-grade teacher saw the statue and mentioned it to the students when they were brainstorming ideas,” she said. “When it was decided, I picked it up and brought it to the school. Eventually, it will be cemented and placed in front of the school.”

Channing Hall graduating student Ethan Mouser presented the statue to the school at the commencement exercises. The previous year, the eighth-grade class gave a buddy bench to the school in memory of their classmate Tomas Hollenbach, who died of brain stem glioma, a form of brain cancer.

Channing Hall selected the wolf as its mascot early in the school’s 11-year history, said Heather Shepherd, head of the school.

“Channing is an old French and Anglo-Saxon name that means ‘wisdom,’ ‘wise one’ and ‘young wolf,’” Shepherd said. “Native American mythology regard the wolf as the tribe’s greatest teacher; the forerunner of new knowledge who leaves the tribe to learn and discover and returns to share insight and wisdom. As a natural extension of ‘Channing’ as our school name, the young wolf is our school mascot. The young wolf mascot stands as an enduring symbol of discovery, mastery, insight and wisdom as we foster individuals who are intellectually agile — responding and contributing to a changing world.”

It was during the school’s third year that students nominated names for their mascot. Koda won in a vote over the two other names, she said.

Shepherd said that graduating gifts to the school will become a tradition and credits the school’s parent organization, CHAPS, for making it happen.

“Our students come visit after they graduate but looking at the eighth-grade gifts makes sure they are remembered daily,” she said. 

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