On October 6, 2016, CELA introduced its mascot, the CELA Lion named Ari, to its staff, students, and families as nearly 500 excited people gathered to learn about this beloved new member of the CELA family. The mascot is a custom, unique, one-of-a-kind lion, designed and created to be a symbol and icon for CELA projecting the Academy to the community.
In selecting a mascot, the children, staff and administration used the same process that was used to create CELA itself. In creating CELA, the chosen mission was defined as creating leaders in all walks of life exhibiting Christian values in the way they live. The vision of how this was going to be accomplished was developed and defined as creating an academy concentrating on the three pillars of Academic Excellence, Christian Values, and Leadership Development. In developing the CELA mascot, the student body and administration defined the mission: “To create a symbol and icon that defines and represents how the school would be viewed and perceived in the community.” This includes exploring the defining characteristics of the mascot through its visual appearance and actions. These characteristics were developed by the children and administration by compiling an extensive list of possible attributes and characteristics (47 to be exact!). Next, they went through a process of putting a level of importance on the different suggested characteristics, personality traits, and values to be a part of the mascot.
Mascots can be logos, people, animals, inanimate objects, etc. All of these possibilities were considered. It was determined that the approach of using an animal would be a good start; the proper animal would already have a number of characteristics that were desired and could be used as a base from which to create. It would also have characteristics that were not representative of CELA and would be rejected and eliminated through custom design of the base animal. Creating the animal unique to CELA became a very detailed process.
It was determined that the number one item people need to know is that the mascot represents a Christian Academy. We looked at names, typical actions of different animals, and associations to the Bible. A research of the animals in the Bible led us to consider the lion. In the Bible, the lion is brought up in many places and circumstances. We selected these as the key to what we wanted to concentrate on in CELA’s mascot. The lion was the symbolic animal that stood out to us. Two Bible verses strongly supported this choice:
“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the Godly are as bold as lions” – Proverbs 28:1
“The lion, which is the mightiest among beasts and does not turn away before any” – Proverbs 30:30
Lions symbolize strength, bravery and power
Lions are referred to as the King of the Jungle
In ancient times, the lion represented the concept of Excellence
The name Ari, in Hebrew, means Lion / Lion of God. We named the CELA lion Ari.
CELA’s mascot, Ari the Lion, will be a goodwill ambassador in our school and surrounding community. He will present a strong Christian image and, through his actions and traits, will possess the characteristics of our school as identified by our CELA children as what they want to see and experience in our mascot. These include joyful, caring, lovable, Christian, welcoming, fun, strong, friendly, leader, happy, brave, courageous, honest, encouraging – to name a few of the primary ones.
In summary: Our CELA mascot, Ari the Lion, is a symbol and icon representing what CELA is, our values, and our characteristics as a school.