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Pacific edition, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Zama Middle School students and faculty, seeking a new identity after making the break from Zama American High School this year, have adopted the Samurai as their new mascot, officials announced Wednesday.

Students, faculty, and the Camp Zama and Naval Air Facility Atsugi base communities submitted more than 30 different ideas for the middle school.

A committee sorted through the submissions, and students chose the name over the Eagles, Wolves, Llamas, Hornets and Spartans.

Zama Middle School used the Spartan as its mascot before being absorbed by Zama High School in 1990.

“I was hoping they’d keep that to maintain tradition,” said Zama Middle School counselor Debbie Alcazar, a 1991 graduate of Zama High School who attended the middle school in the 1980s.

Students and staff have an upcoming vote on school colors, she added. A logo also remains in the sketch phase, with several designs being developed.

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