In the photo above, Bobby the Bobcat, the Cougar Ridge mascot, meets "Captain," the new statue of a bobcat at the school.
On a recent sunny afternoon, the Cougar Ridge Elementary PTSA and school staff unveiled a new bobcat statue in recognition of the school and parent group’s 30 years of partnership. The bronze statue represents the school’s mascot, and the characteristics of kindness, bravery and honesty.
Students voted to name the bobcat “Captain.” Principal Drew Terry thanked the PTSA for the gift, and said considerable effort went into the project, from the planning and approval process to the placement and unveiling. He also said he appreciates the members of the Maintenance crew who put in special effort to install the statue carefully and properly.
“It turned out beautifully,” Terry said. “It’s a great partnership.”
Diana Heyd and Christina Smedegaard led the PTSA committee that worked on the statue project, starting by surveying other PTSA members about what type of gift they would like to purchase for the anniversary. “We’re proud of the way it came together,” Smedegaard said.
The statue is the creation of artist Randolph Rose of New York and features a bobcat with its front paws on a stack of books.
“We hope it’ll be here for many years to come,” Heyd said.
The PTSA board and committee members settled on a statue in hopes that it will foster an added sense of belonging for the students, staff and families of Cougar Ridge. The PTSA also has recently purchased fence art that proclaims, “We are Bobcats!” and high netting behind the soccer goals on the fields to prevent balls from getting lost in the berry bushes as they have in years past.
“It’s pretty amazing. We’re very lucky to be able to give such a big gift to our school community,” Smedegaard said.
For each group of students, Heyd and Smedegaard, along with current PTSA board members, pulled a cloth off the statue. Bubbles floated through the air, and balloons bobbed in the breeze.
The “other” school mascot, Bobby the bobcat, also attended the ceremony, much to the delight of the students, who high-fived the mascot on the way to the ceremony.
Dean of Students Anne Miller announced the new statue’s name to each group of students, and shared the character traits Captain represents.
“Captain will be here forever and ever,” Miller said. “He will greet you in the morning and say goodbye in the afternoons.”