What is a Wykon?
A Wykon is a three-legged mythological creature that represents West Iron County Public Schools as its mascot.
When is the Wykon's Birthday?
The Wykon was originally created by three members of the West Iron County faculty: Floyd Carlson, a school counselor; Donald MacDonald, a football coach; and Brandon Giovanelli, an art teacher. Counselor Carlson and Coach MacDonald coined the word Wykon, which was originally Wicon, but it was determined that this might be confused with Wisconsin, so the spelling was changed.
On February 8, 1968, Brandon Giovanelli, art teacher at the then Stambaugh High School, was given five minutes to design a mascot for the newly consolidated district of West Iron County. However, two Giovanelli drawings of the Wykon, each representing a different design, are dated March 27, 1968, hence the establishment of that date as the Wykon's official birthday. The original drawings are housed separately: one is located in the Administration Building and the other in the High School.
The Significance of the Wykon's Tail and Body: A Myth
Tradition has it that the Wykon’s tail is shaped like an "S" for Stambaugh, and the main body along with the upper leg and the space in between spell "IR" to represent Iron River. This was not the intention of Mr. Giovanelli. It is considered a myth by those responsible for the Wykon's creation.
The Original Wykon Painting
In 1999, Andy Busakowski of Central Arts and Crafts of Iron River, Michigan reframed the original Wykon painting attributed to Mr. Giovanelli. Mr. Busakowski donated his time, talent, and materials. The painting is now encased in a blue metallic frame and the glass is conservation quality, which is specially designed to protect artwork from the damaging rays of ultraviolet light.
From 1968 until 1999, the original Wykon painting was housed at the WIC Middle School and then moved after the reframing in 1999 to the district Administration Building, where it has remained. On the occasion of the Wykon's 33rd birthday in 2001 and for the first time, the painting was on limited public exhibition at WIC High School for the district celebration.