Minnetonka and the Skipper: Evolving Our Mascot

Cash Wagner, Staff Writer

Minnetonka High School has had the Skipper as its mascot for a long time. With his blue cap and white Minnetonka ‘M’ shirt, many students immediately identify and connect him back to the school district.

However, the face of the Skipper is lacking in ways that many students have come to notice in recent years. The mascot is depicted as a white, blond-haired male who does not accurately represent the entire student body. So now more than ever, students are beginning to question how they might rethink what represents their school.

While the Skipper is recognizable and representative of the district, Madison Ambrose, ‘25, explains that “it’s important to reflect on the fact that we’ve diversified.”

With advocacy from administration to make inclusivity and belonging an integral part of everyday school life, reflecting diversity makes sense. In order to reflect our student body, it seems like a necessary step to take a look at how our community views the school with the face of the Skipper.

This idea has been discussed before, including in a 2016 Breezes article by Isabella Bennett and Wyatt Mosiman, which delved deep into the history of our mascot. It explained that the current Skipper was created after the student body pushed for “a more ‘macho’ and ‘aggressive’ mascot.”

When asked about why there have been no changes since the 2016 article, Principal Jeff Erickson said that “while we have certainly had some initial discussions [on the matter,] we have no intention of changing the school district’s mascot to be anything other than ‘The Skippers.’” Erickson adds that “The Skippers” could be attributed to any face and logo, or “be any 

gender and any race or ethnicity.” 

Still, Minnetonka Middle School East orchestra director Michael Anderson started a petition at the beginning of October to change the mascot back to ‘Skip the Duck’ after reading that very same article. Skip was the school’s mascot for just four years, representing Minnetonka Schools from 1985 to 1989 before the current Skipper took over. 

“My petition is not one against the Skipper,” Anderson said, “but rather one hoping to elevate Skip and, with a little bit of luck, bring him back as the chosen representative of [Minnetonka].” Anderson’s petition further explains that “Minnetonka Public Schools was represented by an animal that all who have been in our city and on our lake are acquainted with: the magnificent duck.” 

In other words, the current mascot doesn’t fit as well into the community as something as simple as a duck would. A different mascot could allow the school’s community to have a more unique and diverse sense of belonging, which is essential to a welcoming school community.