Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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TPS logo celebrates diversity, learning

Toledo Public Schools' familiar red “flying apple” will fly no more.

School district officials last night took the wraps off a new logo to grace the district's letterheads and publications, replacing the stylized apple that has been in use for 17 years.

And the board reversed course on a policy to shorten the time public speakers may address the board after hearing criticism from parents and district residents.

The board met at Grove Patterson Academy school in the Westgate area.

The logo was designed by Lesniewicz Associates, Inc., the Toledo firm that designed the Owens-Corning corporate logo, according to Jane Bruss, executive director for communications.

A black square with multicolored circles and strokes to represent people, the new design is supposed to convey diversity and “interactivity,” according to Eric Crockett, executive vice president of Lesniewicz Associates.

Next to the design are the words, “The Power of Learning,” which have been adopted as a motto of the administration of Superintendent Eugene Sanders, who began in August. Mrs. Bruss said the four-word phrase and the design have been registered with the federal government as trademarks of the school district.

Mrs. Bruss said the design can be used in color or black and white, and can be used with or without the phrase.

She said the $5,000 the district paid Lesniewicz was a fraction of the actual value of the design work. The president of the firm, Terry Lesniewicz, is a 1966 graduate of Woodward High School.

Dr. Sanders said the logo is aimed at improving the district's image.

“We're very interested in trying to redefine our image” to emphasize learning, Dr. Sanders said.

He noted that he has replaced the term “feeder pattern” - the word for the minidistricts of elementary, junior high, and high schools - with the term “learning community.”

Board President Peter Silverman welcomed the new style.

“We spend so much money on stationery and brochures, we should have something that looks nice and conveys a positive image,” he said.

The school district's old logo, an apple made to look high-tech and moving at a high rate of speed, informally known as the flying apple, was introduced in 1984 by Suzanne Yeager, who was executive director for communications from 1983 to 1996.

Mrs. Yeager, the executive director for communications of St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools, said the old design was commissioned by former Superintendent Hugh Caumartin.

“We had a new superintendent and wanted to reflect the agenda of the superintendent and the board at that time, and they were looking for something that reflected forward movement,” Mrs. Yeager said.

Eleven people spoke last night against the board's plan to reduce the amount of time a speaker can claim the microphone from five minutes to three minutes.

Mr. Silverman said he has dropped his proposal to shorten the speaking time at board meetings, but doesn't plan to give up the requirement that speakers give advance notice.

A number of people urged the board to allow speakers to sign in at the start of the board meeting rather than be required to notify the treasurer's office by noon the day of the meeting of one's intent to speak.

Also last night, the school board:

  • Raised the salaries of the treasurer and 14 cabinet-level officials, including the deputy and assistant superintendents, by the same amount that was approved for teachers and administrators this month.

    They will receive increases of 3.5 percent on April 1, 2001, retroactively, and on Dec. 1, 2001, and lump- sum increases of $1,500 on Aug. 1, 2001, and $1,600 on Aug. 1, 2002.

    The superintendent's salary will be reviewed in August, Mr. Silverman said.

  • Adopted a new nondiscrimination policy. The policy calls for the creation of an advisory committee on equal employment opportunity compliance of nine or 11 members from the community.

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