With only four weeks left before Spirit Week 2019, middle and high school students at HBA are hard at work, eagerly preparing for the highly anticipated week full of competition and fun.
Student council president Rena Takatsuka explained that this year’s theme of Sidekick Stories was chosen at one of the student council’s brainstorming sessions in the summer. It was picked because many of the beloved Disney films contain some of the funniest sidekick characters. Not long after the theme was revealed at the October all-school homeroom, all of the class councils gathered to select their grade’s Disney movie assignment. Out of a total of twelve options, the final line-up of ended up this way:
7th Grade: Tangled
8th Grade: Jungle Book
Seniors: Snow White (& the Seven Dwarves)
Some students were surprised that the theme is similar to last year’s theme, Why so Salty? Sophomore class president Kellie Takai said, “I thought that Sidekick Stories sounded quite similar to last year’s theme, which was about villains. But, I really enjoyed our Spirit Week theme last year, so I look forward to Spirit Week this year.” Junior class president Alyssa Mayeshiro is looking forward the creative opportunities that the theme provides. “Sidekick Stories is pretty creative on the student council’s part,” she said. “It forces each grade to stray from the plot of their film and portray an original story during their pepper squads.”
Along with all the excitement, many students are also nervous about the many challenges that lie ahead of them. Mayeshiro explained, “When I first heard the theme, I knew it would be difficult to focus on the sidekicks instead of the main character. But the class council and I came up with a lot of great ideas for this year’s Spirit Week and are working hard to make sure these ideas come to life.” Freshman Sarah Williams is concerned about the Pepper Squad presentation since her grade’s movie involves a lot of magic. She said, “In Frozen, Elsa uses her powers to make snow and ice so it may be difficult to replicate those powers using props.”
Spirit Week begins with Squad Day on January 7, the first day of school after Winter Break. On that same day, all grades will be competing in Tug of War during the first Spirit Week assembly. Tourist Tuesday is next. Then, there’s Workout Wednesday alongside Platform Jam. Pepper Squad Day is on Thursday and the week culminates in the Homecoming basketball game after school on Friday’s Eagle Day.
According to the guidelines and rules released by the student council, all costumes for each dress up day must be accompanied by a prop in order to count for full dress up points. All of the mascots for each grade must also be sidekicks and not the main character from the chosen movie. In addition, just like last year, the seventh grade won’t be competing in the Pepper Squad portion of Spirit Week as it is their first year in the competition.
This year, the student council emphasized the importance of sportsmanship and school spirit in the guidelines they released. Concerning poor sportsmanship, the guidelines state that “students should not engage in behavior that could reasonably be determined to be insulting to other individuals or classes, mean-spirited, or generally inappropriate (ie sexually suggestive or foul language). Should such instances occur, classes may have points deducted from their score. This especially applies to the mascot daily scores and to Pepper Squad, but can include the individual actions of students in a grade level.” Takatsuka wants to remind students that judges will be critiquing grades and their mascots based on both their level of spirit and sportsmanship. She added, “Don’t forget to have fun. Spirit Week can be a stressful time for the councils, but the best moments of Spirit Week are when you see your entire class on the bleachers screaming, smiling, and having fun.”
As the semester heads to a close and Spirit Week preparations ramp up, Takatsuka sums up her hopes for this year’s events, saying, “The student council hopes to see all of the grades put in their best effort to make their experience the best it can be. I’d like to see the grades have an immense amount of fun instead of entirely focusing on winning. I believe the competitiveness of spirit week is amazing, but being able to make memorable moments with your entire class is more rewarding than a trophy.”