Muskegon Public Schools Looking to Unify District with New School Song

Andrew Trzaska | June 18, 2013

The Big Red mascot will extend beyond athletic jerseys at Muskegon Public Schools in the future, according to discussions at Tuesday’s board of education building.

A presentation by district staff including a pre-kindergarten teacher and Superintendent Jon Felske indicated a new school song is on the way, as well as signage that emphasize the ‘Big Red’ concept.

The new song will not supplant the existing fight songs or the district’s alma mater of the district, but will be informally used in addition to existing school songs.

According to Felske, the goal is to unite students and others in the district, by having “a uniform idea of what a Big Red is”.

“We just wanted to show what our staff and students are doing around the district,” said Felske. “Thank you for coming up with an easy-to-sing tune… it will be good to incorporate in all the things we do around the district.”

District staff showed a rough cut of the new school song sung by approximately a dozen preschoolers at the meeting.  Fans of the film Remember the Titans will recognize the simple tune of the Muskegon song, except ‘Big Reds’ is subbed in for ‘Titans’.

The video was not immediately available after Tuesday’s meeting.

Felkse also noted that the district is in the process of developing signage around the district that helps emphasize the qualities a Muskegon Public Schools ‘Big Red’ student should show.

This move comes after last summer’s district-wide school consolidation, where multiple schools were closed, including the consolidation of Steele and Bunker middle schools into one newly-named Muskegon Middle School. Even last summer, Felske and members of the board spoke to developing a district-wide identity before high school, which used to be the starting point for the Big Red mascot.

The push for unified identity also comes shortly after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights dismissed a formal motion that would have forced school districts across Michigan to stop using Native American or implied Native American mascots.  The Big Red mascot will continue to be used in the district.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst