The Vikings, Lions, Bears, Bulldogs, Spartans and Rams will soon be joined by the Southside Sharks.

The mascot for Lafayette Parish's first new high school in more than four decades – Southside High in Youngsville – was announced at Wednesday's meeting of the Lafayette Parish School Board.

The school colors will be teal, navy and silver, said Southside Principal Catherine Cassidy.

The school is not scheduled to open until the fall of 2017, but Cassidy formed a mascot and school colors committee of students from middle schools that will feed into the new high school and from Comeaux High School, from where many Southside students will be drawn.

The student committee also considered the hurricanes and the swarm, either yellow jackets or hornets.

They overwhelmingly voted for the shark as mascot and for school colors of teal, navy and silver.

Cassidy said there is one other school in Louisiana with a shark as a mascot, the Mentorship Academy in Baton Rouge.

"We will only be the second shark in the state of Louisiana," she said.

Cassidy said the particular style of shark to be featured in the school logo is still being explored.

The School Board chose the name of the school in April, and Southside High was the most popular choice in a poll of students who will attend the school.

In other business, the board approved an Adopt A Cop program in which teachers and their classes will volunteer to adopt a police officer for the school year.

"It creates a little bit more of an opportunity for respect," said Lafayette City-Parish Councilwoman Nanette Cook, a teacher who suggested the idea for School Board member Justin Centanni.

Officers will be paired with classes at schools in the area where the officers work and teachers can develop lesson plans that involve the officer, who can visit the class and correspond with students.

Centanni said the program will start in the city of Lafayette with the Lafayette Police Department but could grow if other law enforcement agencies in the parish are interested.

“This idea is a powerful example of the role our schools play beyond the basics of education,” he said. “When we see a shortcoming in our society, we have a responsibility — just as parents, civic and church leaders — to take action."

The School Board on Wednesday also voted to allow students who will be re-zoned to attend Carencro High or Northside High next school year under a new zoning plan to attend those schools this school year if they choose.

Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.​