SSUSD unveils new logo

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

SSUSD unveils new logoAfter 40 years, the Sierra Sands Unified School District gave its logo a facelift — unveiling this week a sleek new graphic as part of an effort to modernize its brand.

“A logo by itself means nothing without a quality and service behind it,” said Dr. David Ostash, assistant superintendent of human resources for SSUSD. “But a logo can help tell an organization’s story in a visual and concise manner.”

Ostash addressed members of the Ridgecrest Exchange Club this week, the first public stop after introducing the new logo to the district board and staff.

“While public schools are not a business in the traditional sense, it’s important for us to have the acumen and thought behind providing the best service we can. Part of that is emitting our image — our brand.”

The original logo was designed in the 1970s, after the local elements of the Rand, China Lake, Indian Wells Valley and Kern High School districts joined forces under Sierra Sands. That logo included a peace pipe and pick axe that dominated a mountain scape with barely scrutable lettering bearing the district name.

“I have nothing bad to say about that logo — it was beautiful and reflective of the time it was designed,” said Ostash.

However, he sent out surveys, which yielded more than 100 responses, of what local stakeholders liked, and what they wanted to change, about the logo. The summary is that people loved the mountains and the reference to China Lake. They wanted a cleaner graphic with larger (and fewer) letters. They also wanted something that more clearly symbolized education.

“The great news is that, other than the time I spent, this cost the district nothing,” said Ostash. He reached out to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office, which generated the current logo under the specifications Ostash established based on community feedback.

“I love that the logo has sort of an upward momentum. You have the open book that creates an anchor, then the mountains and the jets both creating that upward movement.” Ostash said that he has received 100-percent positive feedback on the new logo.

He said that the district will follow up with a new communications plan that will help establish policies for how the schools communicate with students, staff, parents and the community.

Ostash noted that one of the influences for revisiting the district logo was feedback from recruitment fairs that the district attends.

“I know that in California, people don’t know how to live on a teacher’s salary. But here in Ridgecrest, we have great schools, affordable living and an environment that allows our teachers to thrive,” he said.

“We have to get out there and tell our story. I think that this new logo helps us do that.”

Story First Published: 2019-04-12