An overview of Homecoming that took place on September 19 on the middle school campus.

An overview of Homecoming that took place on September 19 on the middle school campus.

Homecoming season is coming to an end and familiar scenes of students wearing pajamas in the hallways, sports teams preparing for their showcase games, and posters advertising the Homecoming Dance are on every surface. Although these are all typical homecoming sights, The Gregory School obviously isn’t a typical high school. We’re a small community, so we don’t have ordinary high school experiences. However, I think that’s what makes our school so special.

Most of us have seen larger public high schools display their school spirit all over social media. Pep rallies are filled with cheering and sometimes painted fans, cheerleaders wearing school colored ribbons that support perfectly coifed ponytails and bands playing the fight song are typical scenes from larger schools. They enthusiastically take part in spirit week activities, show up to sports games by the busloads, and generally seem to have school pride. But even in these environments it’s difficult to get everyone to demonstrate school pride.

Could some of it be the plague of the teenage years and not wanting to be part of the status quo? Building school pride and spirit is a problem at every school, no matter the size. How do you motivate someone to fully engage and participate in anything, especially as a teenager? As a student body, we’re reluctant to participate in school sponsored activities, and I often hear grumblings about our school as a whole. I have to wonder if there is some reason for the apparent lack of school spirit. I believe school spirit is directly related to the level of school pride and overall school satisfaction. Maybe the problem is deeper than not wearing a hat on crazy hair day.

Photo by Chloé Durand

Photo by Chloé Durand

Student Council has made a goal this year to increase school spirit, but how will they accomplish such a task with the lackluster participation from the student body? Students busy with studies, sports, and extracurriculars can sometimes view spirit week activities as just another task. Generally the negative attitude toward spirit week and school pride activities are that ‘they are lame’.

When polled and asked what would they like to do there are few responses or nonsense answers. The predicament of motivating and moving a group of people is a dilemma for society, businesses, schools and even families.

Our goal of building school spirit needs to start with building school pride. The place to start is focusing on what we do have rather than what we lack. Where else can you find a more passionate group of instructors and staff who are personally committed to your success? What other school gives you the chance to play any sport that you’re interested in without the fear of not making the team? There are amazing opportunities here that larger schools can’t possibly provide. These things make the traditions and history at The Gregory School worth taking pride in.

“Bear down” is a familiar chant here in Tucson. When the University of Arizona Wildcats win it actually affects enrollment. School spirit is an emotional response and sports are emotional! There’s nothing like seeing a great attack to win the fifth set of a closely played volleyball game, the excitement of watching a team pass the ball and scoring a game winning goal in the last seconds of the soccer game, or the rush of watching a swimmer pull an arms length ahead of the second place swimmer to win the heat. Homecoming games are games you never want to lose as an athlete playing fall sports here because the whole Gregory School community is watching!

If the whole school turned out for every game, it would definitely inspire the teams to play better and increase the interest in athletics on our campus and probably increase school spirit. There’s nothing like chanting “Go Hawks” with an adrenaline filled crowd dressed in blue and white to create memories.

Since we don’t have cheerleaders here to lead us in school spirit, we should make it a goal to create some high school memories and show The Gregory School pride. Attend the sporting events, root for your favorite players, and go to the dances and dance like nobody’s watching. Wear your blue and white with pride!