There was more than the wind howling last week Friday! Jenison High School’s gymnasium was alive with raucous laughter and excited cheering as students prepared for the 2012 Homecoming festivities.
This “Pride Rally”, organized by student congress advisors Julie Roby, Tracy Mossburger and Chuck Russell, along with Principal Brandon Graham, is part of a bigger focus on fostering school pride through participation in school events. Each grade level is awarded “Pride Points” when they dress up for Spirit Week, for example, and those points are recorded and tallied throughout the year. At the end of each school year, the class with the most points is invited to take part in a picnic celebration complete with carnival games.
“Creating an environment of pride in our school and in belonging to something bigger than any one individual has been a culture-changing element at Jenison High School. Kids take responsibility for things they’re proud of, and it shows in the hallways, in our classrooms, and on the playing fields, ” Principal Brandon Graham said.
This year’s rally began with a wonderful band performance before Homecoming Court introductions were made. Students were escorted by meaningful teachers in their lives while a short biography was read about each of them. Performances by the high school dance and cheer teams followed.
The festivities culminated in the opportunity for students to win pride points for their class in a “Mystery Food” competition. Students chosen to represent each grade were asked to make their way through stations where a brown paper bag awaited them. Inside the bag were several food items for them to blindly draw out. Whatever item was selected had to be eaten, and the class who completed all four stations first, won!
Interspersed throughout the afternoon were trivia questions and ovations for new students. But after the contests ended and the students sat down, the sentiment that remained on display was a fervor for Jenison, for a community of friends, and for the school these students love.
On display was pure Wildcat pride.