Blue white and bear all over

The Bear Mascot and how it came to be


Photo by Photo by Ruby Lueras

A mural in the school that is just one example of the symbol of the bear being everywhere around the school. Despite its vast appearance around the school, it still dos not have a name, "for all he years we've had the bear it's never had a name," Christopher Bennett , student council sponsor, said. I do know there was an idea to have a naming contest in the past."

Ruby Lueras, Staff Writer

It’s difficult to go anywhere in Lake Zurich without coming face to face with a bear.

Whether the Bear is on students’ sweatshirts, painted on the bricks of the hallway, or implemented in the very name of this website, Bear Facts, the symbol is everywhere. But where exactly did this mascot come from?

“I believe the year was 1965, when the Ela Vernon High School split into Stevenson High School and Lake Zurich High School,” Ryan Rubenstein, vice-principal said. “I think the Bear Mascot was always there from the very beginning.”

Ela Vernon High School was established in 1929 and had the Bear Mascot since day one according to, However, when the high school split into Lake Zurich High School and Stevenson High School, it was Lake Zurich that got to keep the mascot. The Bear is an important part in distinguishing Lake Zurich High School from the rest, according to Christopher Bennett, student council sponsor. However, Lake Zurich is not the only school nearby to have the mascot.

“Up until five years ago we were the only school in Illinois that had a Bears Mascot,” Bennett said. “But [recently] they built a new private school in Champaign that uses it.”

Whether a mascot is unique or not, they are still valuable since they represent the values of a team or school, according to Bennett.

[A mascot] gives fans a symbol they can rally around,” Bennett said. “The Bulls, the Cubs, [and] the Packers all represent something and I think that the ‘Lake Zurich Bears’ [represents] many things: excellence in athletics, the arts, music, drama, [all] of the things our schools in known for around the Northwest Suburbs.”

Students who may not be aware of the history of the Bear still find value and importance in the symbol, according to Sarah Monoson, junior and student council member.

“The Bear mascot allows people in Lake Zurich to unite as it is an recognizable symbol that people associate with the school spirit of LZHS,” Monoson said. “Seeing the Bear logo on clothes, posters, car stickers and many other things makes people feel connected, as they can all unite with the pride of being a Bear.”

Although Lake Zurich High School may seem defined by the Bear Mascot, what really matters is the values the mascot represents, according to Rubenstein.

“School spirit is not about a mascot,” Rubenstein said. “It is about the people that represent that mascot.”