Behold the spirit of the Bay

The Bay Area is home to high schools with a wide range of spirit traditions. Leigh’s school spirit tends to shine the most during Homecoming, Wacky Winter, and Spring Fling spirit weeks. Various small events, such as Halloween costume contests and singing valentines, are also hosted to try to get students spirited.

Other schools in the Bay Area show off their spirit differently than Leigh does. They, similarly, have spirit weeks and dances, but many have their own unique events as well.

“Our main events are Spirit Week and Monarch Madness, a huge night at the civic center where each class competes with dances, games, cheering, and a roar or song. It’s all or nothing. You’re alive? You’re going to Monarch Madness,” said Samantha Zamora, senior at Archbishop Mitty High School.

In addition to rallies, some schools have class competitions during spirit weeks.

“For homecoming, we have quad decs where each class decorates their own section of one of our courtyards. My junior year we had Candyland as our class theme so we made a ferris wheel with buckets of candy, and one year we made a fountain for our Atlantis theme. Each class tries to go as all out as possible,” said Emily Leung, senior at Monta Vista High School.

Student leadership and ASB play an important role in planning spirit weeks, rallies, games, and in getting students pumped up and excited. At Presentation High School, publicity is key to getting students involved.

“Generally commercials for the events are posted in our weekly Panther Report broadcast, flyers are put up all over school, and an announcement is made in our daily bulletin. Everyone is always very well informed of when the events will occur,” said Lauren Thomason, senior at Presentation High School.

However, at some schools, like Saratoga High School, students don’t always agree with what ASB does.

“They have a lot of money but people don’t like how they spend it. Our school made a hashtag to make fun of ASB, #thanksasb,” said Kaitlyn Chen, senior at Saratoga High School.

Regardless of the strength of ASB leadership, a good way to measure spirit at any school is by how many students participate in spirit events. Hannah Schmitz and Bryan Carlen, both seniors in Leadership, estimated that only about 20 percent of the student body participates by dressing up and attending rallies and sporting events. At Saratoga High School, participation tends to be low but at other schools like Branham High School, students enjoy partaking in spirit events.

“This year, school participation is definitely better but in years before, participation has been low as people would rather study than go to rallies,” said Chen.

“I’d say a little more than half of the school consistently participates in spirit events. We don’t have as many spirit weeks as other schools so when we do have them… everyone loves coming to school dressed up on spirit days and being able to take pictures with their friends,” said Brendan Lopez, junior at Branham High School.

These various traditions give each high school its own unique vibe. With the right combination of planning and effective publicity, a larger percentage of the student body would participate, leading to an increase in school spirit.