Snowball Spirit & Assembly

Monica Sutton and Mimi Morgan

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Stomp your feet and scream at the top of your lungs to show your school spirit! This is the tradition when it comes to West High School’s pep assemblies. Held annually and hosted by the freshmen class, the Snowball assembly, dance and spirit week are all the hype during the first week of December. 

Starting December 2nd, students and teachers alike are given the opportunity to express their spirit. Although there is variety, Thursday is the same every year, for every dance: students are told to wear their class colors and staff are directed to dress in West spirit gear. Following suit, you will find West’s hallways FULL of excited students wearing red, green, blue and yellow. Staff members walk the halls sporting their orange, white and black. During lunch this year, four classrooms hosted “Spirit Parties” and you will find students with paint, sparkles and spirit gear that correspond with their class colors. 

While the main events are fun, the planning isn’t as stress-free. McKenna Piekarski, a junior involved in planning these events, says that the Student Government class starts planning at least four weeks in advance. “We start ordering things like a month in advance… we have to have a meeting and a walkthrough about all the decorations for the assembly,” she says. Piekarski says that when it comes to deciding Spirit Week themes, the Student Government class does it together. “We vote as a class. We have a formal meeting and a bunch of ideas… then we cross them out until there are five left.” 

While the students figure out details, Kelsey Romig, the Student Government teacher, simply stands by and acts as an oversight and point man. “I don’t really do a lot and the kids do most of the work,” Romig says. Romig says that when planning these events, he doesn’t really have any restrictions that he and his students are required to follow. “Restrictions would be things that are not appropriate for school, but most spirit days, the administration is pretty open to listening to or at least hearing why we want to do it.” 

Romig says he wishes that more students dressed up for spirit days and showed off their spirit. “We’ve been trying to do stuff where we give away more spirit gear and make things more affordable and free so people can have colored items and stuff,” he says. Romig states that when trying to get the word out, he tries to use social media. “We try to use social media… making announcements and signs are a big part of this class.”

Besides Student Government and the hype of these events in general, there is one other aspect. Joseph Schumacher, the Yearbook teacher has students who are responsible for capturing the emotions and actions of these events. Aulona Ljena, a Yearbook photographer, says that while Snowball Spirit Week is fun, she doesn’t get to participate in too much of the real action. “We take pictures all day, everyday, especially during Spirit week… during the assemblies, that is kind of where the gold mine of pictures are, so we have to take as many quality pictures as we can,” Ljena says. Although she may be capturing the spirit, she still participates as much as she can, by wearing class colors and participating in spirit day themes. 

Being in Yearbook, Ljena has witnessed the true amount of spirit that West High harbors and strongly believes that it is important for everyone to have. “I think it is important, I think it makes the community at West better, everyone is more together, more united,” Ljena declares. When it comes to her dislikes about spirit week, Ljena says that she really doesn’t have any. “There’s nothing that I dislike, honestly. I love the amount of spirit that this school has, it’s crazy…,” Ljena states. When it comes to capturing the energy of Spirit Week, Ljena says, “Usually we take pictures where everyone is smiling, excited… People that are wearing blue or red or green.” 

Like Ljena, who photographs the action, Schumacher revels in the energy that grows out of Spirit Week. When it comes to the yearbook itself, Schumacher has a vision for what he wants in the finished product. “We’re trying to create a book that is abundant with photos… Spirit Week is a great opportunity… with the assembly, having giant crowds of people all in color and the lunchtime class parties, so we had a photographer in each room,” Schumacher explains. Schumacher says that he has no particular favorite spirit day, just specific days that stick out in his memory from the years.

In the end, West High will always be full of school-spirit, but if you really want to see it come out, visit during December and sooner or later, you will be caught up in the hype and fun of the Snowball Dance.