New River Middle School, shark attack victim unveil new logo

Jessica Vaughn plans to study shark conservation following the June attack

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Creating a splash with their extreme logo makeover, New River Middle School celebrates their love of sharks with Jessica Vaughn.

It was just three months ago when a five-to-six-foot bull shark mistook Vaughn for food. She was bitten as she swam in the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale in June.

Vaughn is still healing, but is now hooked on shark conservation.

"It was a freak accident, not something to be scared of," says Vaughn, smiling. "Sharks are not bad. It was an accident."

Vaughn says she goes into the water regularly, and has swam at the place where she was bitten. Her next adventure? Tagging sharks for education and research.

She plans on going on a shark tagging field trip with other students in November.

She says her lesson from Tuesday's packed auditorium is to convince kids in a marine science magnet program to dive past their own fears of the deep. And it worked.

"I learned not to be afraid. It was a freak accident," says student Megan Van Winkle.

Mia Rodriguez adds that she learned, "Even if there's a tough time in your life, you can go on from that, and work from that and succeed."

It's one in a million advice to go with a priceless new look. World renowned marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey created the new logo, free of charge.

Harvey could not attend the unveiling, but Antonio Fins, who works for the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, reinforced Harvey's education objective.

"We don't need everybody to be a marine biologist," says Fins. "But we need every kid to engage in our oceans."

Katherine O'Fallon, who runs New River's Marine Science Magnet Program, worked two years to get the logo completed.

"Using his art to convey education and conservation for marine environment -- that's priceless," says O'Fallon.

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