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09•30•09 school spirit

What is


There are 1481 students at Rock Canyon, and school spirit means something different to each one of them. Whether you are at a football game or sitting in class, spirit is what drives the school.

What is school spirit... a football game?

What is school spirit...

It’s hard to find people who love their job. It’s hard to find teachers that genuinely love their students and being a Jaguar. Suzanne McKay has found many ways to wiggle her way into the school and the student body. “I love sponsoring classes and clubs, I love dress up days, and I love wearing my jaguar gear,” McKay said, “because I am proud to work here, and to be a part of what we stand for.” McKay is living proof that spirit can reside outside the stadium and gym. She has found a way to derive spirit from the everyday high school experience. “I try to hang as many posters as possible to support the shows, plays, and events,” she said, “I encourage kids to be involved in what’s going on here, and try to ask questions about games and such.” Growing up as an early Douglas County High School Huskie, McKay understands the struggle every school must face to develop traditions and a strong sense of spirit. “I think a huge factor in our ‘lack of spir-

The Purpose School spirit is anything that involves the soul. It’s teaching the younger girls what spirit is, even if right now they just think that they are learning a dance routine. It’s playing your instrument at a high volume so that all people in the stands can hear the noise you create. It’s sitting in the stands, simply being a part of the action. It’s appreciation of the fact that we are all one school, together under one roof or in this case- on top of one set of bleachers. Whatever the reason, it all stems from one place many could call their second home. Rock Canyon. Myles Wallingford

Above: Jessie Salus ‘10, and Curtis Stuck ‘10, cheer on Jaguar football in the game against Pine Creek. Photo by Drew Dodds. Right: The girls from the cheer and poms “Jag Camp”enjoy the football game before their halftime performance. Photo by Drew Dodds. Lower right: Jessica Puccini ‘11, and Alex Puccini ‘11, make paper rings with the rest of student council to decorate the halls for homecoming week. Photo by Alex Rowe. student council?

Student council is responsible for creating and driving spirit during homecoming week. They start planning all of the events the school year before and keep working past the end of the homecoming dance. “It’s stressful, definitely, and it’s hard to plan,” said Tori Korthuis ‘12, Sophomore Class Vice President. It’s the tradition at Rock Canyon for the sophomores to plan homecoming. Tyler Wagstaff ’12, Sophomore Class President and Korthuis, are the two people making sure it all gets done. “It can be really stressful when things go wrong,” said Wagstaff, “like when committees fall behind on their work.” Student Council creates committees in the spring and continue working through the summer and fall. “Student council is broken up into different committees so that everything gets done,” Student Council sponsor Katherine Hartline said. “We have a couple meetings [over summer]. We make sure all the committees are on track, but most of the big decisions are made when school starts,” said Wagstaff. All of student council must sign up to attend at least eight spirit week events to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and they are required to attend the dance. “I think the kids are focused on events moving smooth-

Homecoming is a very busy week for Principal Kim Rauh. “[Homecoming week] increases the energy of the school all day and all night,” said Rauh, “and by the end of the week we are exhausted.” Rauh loves homecoming week for all of the magic moments. As an administrator she understands the value of each day in class, but believes that isn’t the value of high school. “High school is all about the events that make you remember high school,” she said. “[During homecoming week] there is that sense of community, where everyone has the same goal, that you will never see again

ly and getting people to go to the events,” said Hartline. “[My focus] is that everything runs smoothly and that it is a safe and positive experience for everyone.” Student council is also graded on dressing up for spirit days. “People think that they are too cool to dress up for spirit days but [all of student council] does it and it’s a lot of fun,” said Korthuis. On the day of the dance, student council must show up at eight in the morning, to prepare the gym, and leave at noon. Then after homecoming they have to clean up and they get to leave at midnight. “They get to see the events from start to finish so it is really rewarding to see all the hard work pay off,” said Hartline. Lauren Scheirman

it’ is that there are growing pains associated with being a brand new school,” McKay said. “We must figure out the processes, systems, and events that can help enhance our spirit and inspire our students.” She believes school spirit must go beyond class pride, that it’s about originality and passion. “It’s not about mimicking classes before you; it’s about starting something of your own,” said McKay. “Freshman will always look up to the seniors, and do what they do, so no new traditions will come to be.” She emphasizes the importance of setting a good model of spirit to the underclassmen and setting the bar high for the classes that follow. She believes that to create school unity everyone needs a ‘home’ or a place they belong. “I will do whatever it takes for just one child to feel apart of study body at Rock Canyon,” said McKay, “because high school is worth it.” Lauren Packer

What is school spirit...

...for a theater student?

Kayla Bush ’10, is a student that takes school spirit far beyond simply wearing the patriotic black and gold. “I’m in five clubs, I’m the president of one, the vice president of one, and I greatly enjoy the other three,” she said. “I use my activities to express what things I actually like in high school (laughs).” Bush participates in Drama Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Art Club, Anime Club, and Go Club, while continuing to balance academics. “It’s not as difficult balancing school work as it is balancing my time between the clubs,” she said. “I mean, many times I’ll have more than one club meeting in the same time period, so I have to manage my priorities.” Bush’s largest focus is in the study of theatre.

School feels like a home ...

no matter what you do.” Because of this, Rauh embraces the extra work, responsibility, and supervision that accompanies homecoming week. The administration tries to allow for as many homecoming events as possible. This year there are six dress up days, five after school events, and the dance which will see as many as 1,200 people. “Buy in to these activities is essential,” said Rauh. “We have a student body and parents that want to participate and be involved, which is awesome.” Alex Rowe

...for a teacher?

The Cheer Carly Lombard ’12, has been on the cheer team since freshman year. She sits in the stands surrounded by a group of little girls age four to nine dressed in identical yellow outfits. “School spirit is showing up to the games wearing all black and gold, screaming for your team,” says Lombard. “We got a pretty decent spirit thing going on here.” A little girl standing next to her starts to get antsy, waving her bumble-bee pom-poms and smashing them together so they look like fireworks “Are you excited for halftime?” Lombard asks the little girl. “Why do people keep asking me that? I know what I’m doing.” says the young girl. The little girls are here for a program sponsored by the poms and cheer teams at RCHS. It’s called the Jag Clinic. Each team spent two days teaching the little girls cheers and dances to perform during the halftime show. “I like helping them because they look up to you like no one else does,” Brittney Hill ‘10.

The Freshman Scott Levigne ’13, is here to support his team, as well as to see some familiar faces outside school walls. “Somebody who doesn’t have any school spirit must have a pretty boring life or something,” says Levigne. “I think it definitely makes you a better student since you become more involved in what your school has to offer.” He watches the game intently, as if he were in his own living room watching the pros. He and his friends chat throughout. It appears to be a typical social gathering. “I would have to say the best thing about high school is everybody is just sort of together.”

...for the principal?

What is school spirit...

A high school football game is about much more than what happens on the field. It has a different meaning for each person attending. Some of the spectators sign up to be a part of the formal football ceremonies, and others just show up to be in the stands. There are differences in why everyone comes, but the grand purpose is universal; it’s about school spirit.

The Trombone About 30 yards away from where Lombard sits, on the same stands, comes the sound of instruments. Tanner Scurto ’11, plays the trombone for the school marching band. He’s a kid who mimics the clapping signatures of the cheer team, putting full effort into his stomps. “What reason is there for possessing school spirit?” Scurto asks. “What other reasons are there besides its fun. It’s awesome!” Every eight minutes or so he’ll stand and put the mouthpiece to his lips. It’s easy to tell which sound coming from the mass is his; his is loudest. He takes a seat and a swig of water. “School spirit is the willingness to support your...” Scurto begins to say before the crowd’s cheering drowns out the sound of his voice. “School spirit is really loud cheering!”


soundtrack: “Titans Spirit (Score)” Trevor Rabin

What is school spirit...

“In the beginning I had no friends. I was a nobody,” she said. “Then, theatre accepted me. I now have a purpose.” She has been involved in every school play since her freshman year began, including stage managing, acting, and backstage working. She worked on last weekend’s play Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and will be acting in upcoming play The Diary of Anne Frank that will be opening on Nov 19. “I love theater—I’m addicted,” said Bush. “Spirit to me is supporting your peers even while not participating; and although high school has been tough, it has made me a better person, I do not regret it.” Zach Anderson

What is school spirit...

“On the football field, because we work together and have fun.” -Trey Woods ‘10 “In the library, because it’s nice and quiet.” -Austin Duardo ‘10 “In the training room, because I spend a lot of time there and am really interested in athletic training.” -Katie Kopchik ‘10 “When I have to go there every day.” -Evan Kellog ‘12 “On the soccer field, because I love it, and have been doing it for four years.” -Alex Mierau ‘10 “When I see my friends.” -Rachel Branson ‘12 “At games and the school events, because it’s fun to go support our teams.” -Emily Miller ‘10 “Outside the classroom at games and activities, because people are a lot more open.” -Tori Eberlein ‘10 “In math class, because I love calculus.” -Luke Powers ‘11 “When you get to hang out with friends.” -Drew Baggett ‘13 “At basketball games, because they’re so much fun to watch.” -Cameron Lindermann ‘11 “At band practice and events, because I enjoy it and it feels like a second home.” -Erin Oehm ‘10 “When I’m surrounded by the people that I love.” -Louise MacDonald “When I graduate.” -Valeria Gavidia ‘11 “Well, never, because everyone here is shallow.” -Courtney Linch ‘11

Compiled by Matt Rabon, Courtney Schellenger, and Jennifer Burton

What is school spirit...

...for the rest of the week?

...for a middle schooler?

She’s not even in high school, yet she believes she has it. “Spirit is dressing up each day of the week in crazy things, showing your loyalty to your school,” says Lauren Yeckle ’14, as she walks home from her bus stop. Yeckle had attended Rocky Heights Middle School until the start of 8th grade. Recently, she switched schools after moving to Westminster. “It’s kind of hard to feel attached to a new school since I just moved here and all,” said Yeckle. “But it’s starting to grow on me, I really like the kids.” She believes it’s harder to be a student if one is not active in their school. Feeling attached strengthens the learning atmosphere, or so she claims. For Yeckle, spirit is an important part of the school experience. She believes that

being spirited improves the whole school experience. Yeckle hopes high school is not like her new school, Ken Caryl Middle School. She hopes for an institution where there is less drama, an atmosphere of maturity, an increase in freedom, and a lot more spirit. “I think that spirit in high school is going to be way more intense and crazy,” says Yeckle. “People have more reason to be spirited. It’s the last of your school years before college and you want to make the most of it.” Despite switching schools, Yeckle plans on attending Rock Canyon for her high school career. Myles Wallingford art by Zach Anderson

Issue 2 page 14-15  

There are 1481 students at Rock Canyon, and school spirit means something dierent to each one of them. Whether you are at a foot- ball game...