Aidan Cavosie, who will be a senior at Catholic Central School in the fall, was dressed up as the team mascot as the students and teachers played "Guess the Crusader." (Cindy Schultz photos for The Evangelist)
Aidan Cavosie, who will be a senior at Catholic Central School in the fall, was dressed up as the team mascot as the students and teachers played "Guess the Crusader." (Cindy Schultz photos for The Evangelist)
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The St. Ambrose pre-K students, waving purple pom-poms and wearing purple-beaded necklaces, marched to a tent where a deejay was playing music. As they were joined by the rest of the school, four busloads of students, wearing white polos and either gray pants or skirts, from Catholic Central High School arrived.

As they packed into the tent on the grass next to the St. Ambrose Church parking lot, the deejay blasted the song “Uptown Funk.”

The students — and the teachers — danced to the music. This pep rally felt like a party.

And after all it was. Lily Spera, principal of St. Ambrose School, was soon to unveil the new logo and brand — designed by Rueckert Advertising and Public Relations — for Catholic Central School, which will open in September.

“This has been a buildup. We made our announcement in November and since then we have been trying to get the process moving,” said Spera. “This is actually one of the most exciting days unveiling what our new school will represent and being able to give an ode to some of the traditions that both schools’ represent. I am sure you could hear the excitement.

“And it was a process where we surveyed stakeholders. We created a branding team that was made up of different stakeholders as well, so that we were really getting the opinions and the thoughts of everyone who is part of this community.”

Last fall, in a move designed to strengthen the future of Catholic education in the Capital Region, the Albany Diocesan School Board announced it would create a new pre-K to 12th grade school in Latham. That school, a merger of St. Ambrose School in Latham (pre-K to 5th grade) and Catholic Central High School in Lansingburgh (6-12th grade), will be located at the 19-acre Latham campus that is currently home to St. Ambrose Parish and School.

After the students and staff watched a short countdown video, Spera and her colleagues then took off the purple coverings on the three logo posters, which drew wild cheers from the students. The new school logo has the words “Catholic Central School” and “Latham, New York” in a circle with a cross and textbook on a shield in the center. The athletic Crusader logo in purple and white will be worn by all school athletes and features a fierce Crusader with the words “Catholic Central Crusaders” on the bottom of the logo. The final poster had a smaller version of the school logo with the new tagline “Academic Excellence. Rooted in Christ” next to it.

“The purpose of this day is, we have been working on this project for about a year, and this is kind of our first big event together with the elementary school and the high-school students together and we are super excited about that,” said Chris Bott, associate superintendent of schools. “And an important part of that process is the logo and the brand of the school. So we wanted everyone to be together when we unveiled that.”

After unveiling the logo, the school had a “Guess the Crusader” contest. Pictures of students, teachers, Giovanni Virgiglio, diocesan superintendent of schools, Father Brian Kelly, pastor of St. Ambrose, and many more were shown. After students guessed their answers, the Crusader mascot took off his head and it was revealed to be Aidan Cavosie, who will be a senior at the Catholic Central School in the fall.

Then to finish off a memorable day, under brilliant sunshine and bright, blue skies, the students had ice cream.

To learn more about CCS, visit CatholicCentralSchool.org.