[Editor’s note: According to Westford Academy Principal James Antonelli, the word “gray” shifted to “grey” somewhere along the way.]
A long and winding trail designed to uncover the true story of the Westford Academy mascot and where it came from, prompted Principal James Antonelli to a make a recommendation to the School Committee on Sept. 13. Antonelli recommended that he ask students to provide images of the mascot, continuing to use the school colors of maroon and white.
Called the grey ghost, the mascot fueled a reaction among some students in recent years who wanted to change the icon.
Antonelli, who graduated from Westford Academy in 1986, covered a lot of territory by calling people who were familiar with the mascot. After talking with a number of local residents, including one or two town historians, Antonelli recommended keeping the mascot the way it is.
“In that particular show, Colonel John Singleton Mosby was known as the gray ghost,” Antonelli said. The character was known for his ability to trail unnoticed.
School Committee member Gloria Miller, had a different take from Antonelli’s recommendation regardless of the grey ghost’s history.
“I think we should consider the bigger measure of just replacing the mascot,” she said.
After the second of two surveys by Antonelli, 49.9 percent of responders said they wanted to keep the mascot, another 39.1 percent said to reinvent the meaning behind the mascot, and 12.5 percent said the mascot should be changed overall.