The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications


The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications

The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications

Reviving the Ghost of School Spirit!

As having pride for the tribe is seemingly going out of style, administration is finding ways to revitalize the spirit among the students of Stafford High School.
Students+participate+in+Barbie+Day+as+part+of+school+spirit.
photo by Julia Coelho
Students participate in “Barbie Day” as part of school spirit.

Poll Maker
Blue and gold paint decorate the crowd of Stafford’s student section, packed into the stands like a can of sardines. Pep rallies boom with the band’s ensemble, making it impossible to hear the person next to you. The students chant with paint swiped across their cheeks as if Friday’s football game is a war. 

Amidst the craze for the Blue Wave, spirit days, and the newly implemented “Spirit Points”, some just can’t seem to understand the point of it all. How could participating in games and dressing in ridiculous outfits possibly affect a high school as a whole?

School spirit is a crucial part of the high school experience. Not only does it instill a sense of belonging and togetherness in students and staff, it generates excitement to be a part of a tight-knit community. Enjoying the learning environment directly impacts the way students feel in their daily life, as well as in their academic performance. 

Although some students may feel uncomfortable participating in spirit activities, the leader of Tribe Chiefs, Amy Hamm, stresses the importance of letting yourself become a part of our community. “It builds a well rounded student,” Hamm says. As Hamm overlooks student activities, she understands not everyone is completely committed to cultivating a fun environment. Hamm implores students to push aside their ego and participate. “Having fun is okay, being silly is okay, looking silly is okay.”

While being social and outgoing may come natural to some, this may not be the case for the more introverted students at Stafford. Administration understands and sympathizes with the fact that some games and challenges require students to step out of their comfort zone and put themselves out there. “Having a strong culture and a strong climate, it’s hard work. It doesn’t just happen,” Principal Allen Hicks explains.

To accommodate this, members of Stafford’s Tribe Chiefs have worked on finding ways to get all different types of students involved in the fun. Eventually, the idea of Spirit Points was born and implemented into the 2023-2024 school year. The main objective of this system is to cultivate healthy competition between the classes while getting students to participate in hopes of their class coming out on top. Ways students can be rewarded points range from something as simple as attending a volleyball game, to more engaging activities like taking part in a scavenger hunt. “Whoever wins the points at the end of the year gets a huge field day for the entire class,” says Janet Barham, P.E. teacher and varsity cheerleading coach.

Efforts to get students involved this year doesn’t stop at spirit points. Stafford plans on hosting the classic Homecoming dance on October 21st, along with having a coinciding Homecoming pep rally. Other dances such as Prom are planned to come later this year, as well as a dance that hasn’t taken place since 2019. “Mrs. Hamm and I, along with Mr. Hicks, have sat down and talked about having another Glow dance [and] possibly a Glow pep rally to go along with it,” says Barham. In past years, a Glow dance was a dance where everyone wore fluorescent colors and all the lights were shut off to reveal a glowing sea of Stafford students. 

“With the way that things are going now, we’re gonna be able to have more pep rallies this year,” said Hicks. Administration plans on not only recognizing fall sports with a pep rally, but winter and spring sports as well. As the year goes on, appropriate behavior from the student body will be recognized and in turn rewarded with more school festivities.

But before any type of fun can begin, it all starts with having participants who are eager to display their loyalty and pride for the school. When everyone in a school stands in solidarity with one another, we can work towards making our school a better place with a stronger culture. “I wish for one year that every teacher and every student would buy in,” says Hamm. “It would completely change everything.”

If you’ve ever wondered why seniors are almost always the most spirited class, it’s because they’ve grasped the fact that they soon have to say goodbye to the Friday nights covered in paint, cheering the football team on at the top of their lungs. They will never get another prom staying out a “little” later than their curfew. Before viewing having school spirit as “corny” or “tacky”, try to view it as making the absolute most of your adolescence. Once high school slips through your fingers, you don’t get it back. 

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Jayda Jones, Writer
Hey, I'm Jayda! I'm a sophomore and this is my second year on the Varsity cheer and track team. This is my first year writing for The Smoke Signal. I can't wait to interview people around the school this school year and share my passion for writing with the school.
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