BELLEVILLE - Months of collaboration are resulting in a new image for Belleville Mennonite School.
About one week ago, the school unveiled its new logo and website design - the final steps in an effort to rebrand and refresh a decades-old first impression.
The new logo features an infinity symbol and Christian cross encompassed in a ring and outer circle. According to a press release from the school, the infinity sign represents the boundless nature of learning, development and Christian faith. The juxtaposition of the cross in the foreground and intersection of the shapes create a mark to represent the school's vision statement: "Develop Minds. Build Faith. Make Disciples." An outer ring surrounds the shapes to represent unity of the student body, teachers, administration, community and faith, while an outer circle represents the foundation, the release states.
Photos submitted by VALERIE REED
A screenshot of the new website design for Belleville Mennonite School is shown. The new site can be viewed at www.bmsprek12.org.
"We're not abandoning the things BMS was built on," said Superintendent Starla Fogleman.
Development Director Valerie Reed explained that the changes are a reflection of the growth and development of the school, but still represent the solid academic and biblical aspects on which it was founded.
Part of the rebranding is an effort to "debunk the myths" about the school, she said, and eliminate the stigma that BMS is based upon specific religious denominations.
While a percentage of the school's enrollment is Mennonite, BMS welcomes students of other Christian faiths too.
"We believe in Jesus Christ," she said.
Similarly, Fogleman said the red cross is the most significant part of the logo.
"The Bible is an important part of our curriculum ... (it was) important to me that the cross stood out," she explained. "We're not just a private school, we're a Christian school."
Amid many changes, one thing remains the same - BMS's traditional school colors, red and white.
Fogleman and Reed said the response from students and parents about the new logo has been positive.
The logo also is featured on a brand new school website, which can be found at www.bmsprek12.org. The site features an updated design and comprehensive information about BMS.
The site also features new pictures taken at the school.
"They say, 'Pictures are worth a thousand words,'" Fogleman said.
Now, prospective students and parents can see images of current students, faculty, classrooms and activities on the website. She said the updates allow the community to actually see what is happening at the school, not just read about it.
The website also features testimonies from alumni, staff and students. Reed said the comments add a personal touch.
In addition, prospective and current students and parents can find enrollment and re-enrollment forms and other applications online. Fogleman said this eliminates the need to visit the office for such school documents.
The next step, Reed said, is reinforcing the brand, which will allow the community to better recognize the school.
During the past year, attendance at BMS has grown from 190 students to 220 - soon to be 221 after Thanksgiving. In a rough economy, Reed attributes the school's growth and development to God.
"We just feel like God's blessing us ... it's an exciting time," she said.
For more information about Belleville Mennonite School, visit www.bmsprek12.org, call 935-2184 or visit the school at 4105 Front Mountain Road, Belleville.