GUILDERLAND — After a hectic morning’s vote,
the results for the Pine Bush Elementary school mascot came
in shortly after 12:30 p.m., and it’s the Karner blue
butterfly by an antenna.
The endangered species native to the Pine Bush Preserve,
next to the school, won by a mere six votes over the next
closest competitor, the great horned owl, 138 to 132. The
four candidates were separated by no more than 11 votes,
total — the spotted turtle grabbed 128 votes; the white-tailed
Fifth-graders counted ballots throughout the day as the
votes trickled in, but the results wound up so close that
school librarian Kim Harmon conducted a recount after the
dismissal bell rang. The students had a half-day Tuesday.
“I’m sure some people will be disappointed, but
our school spoke,” Harmon said. “We have to embrace
our mascot. With open wings.”
Turnout was stellar, with approximately 525 students and
teachers voting out of a possible 569. The missing might
have been out sick, Harmon said. A few ballots were disqualified
because they were incorrectly filled out.
The Karner blue will have a four-year term as mascot before
facing re-election. Meanwhile, Harmon said she thinks it
would be interesting for some of her students, perhaps
spin-doctors in the making, to dissect the outcome by gender