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Central Valley School Board votes to repaint its floor without sports co-op’s Burros logo

BUXTON, N.D. — Alumni for a Traill County school that joins another district for sports don't want the co-op's logo to appear on their alma mater's gym floor.

Their voices were loud enough to prompt the Central Valley School Board to vote unanimously to repaint its floor, without the Burros logo that was approved last summer by board members from Central Valley and Hillsboro, N.D.

The two schools are in their fifth year of a sports co-op, and Hillsboro's Burro logo was selected as the official nickname for H-CV sports teams. Before that, Central Valley was known as the Valiants, symbolized by a knight riding a horse.

Letters from Central Valley alumnae Mary Austreng and Missy Adams indicate several people who went to school there don't want to lose their identity as Valiants.

"Central Valley has given up a great deal to be part of the co-op," Austreng wrote in the letter. "We no longer can use our school nickname. ... We have truly lost our identity to the co-op. However, we still are Central Valley and we still are the Valiants in everything but sports. Why would we permanently put a Burro symbol on our gym floor?"

The Burros logo, a blue donkey kicking at the air with H-CV branded into its hip, was chosen over two other mockups and appears in the gym floor at the Hillsboro Events Center.

Adams and Austreng noted the co-op has presented opportunities for student athletes and has been good for the two schools. But the schools have not fully consolidated.

"Central Valley is still its own school and should fight to keep their own identity, especially with their permanent fixtures," Adams wrote. "The Burro logo is prominently displayed in multiple banners around the gym and therefore it isn't necessary to be embedded into the floor."

H-CV Athletic Director Dave Nelson said the co-op is fine with Central Valley electing to not feature the Burro on the school's gym floor.

The alumni letters mentioned the co-op might not be permanent and would be revisited every few years. Nelson said that was not the case.

"The co-op is strong as it has ever been," he said. "It's a long-term commitment by both schools."

Central Valley School is about 20 miles south of Grand Forks.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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