Initiative to booster school spirit hopes to bring student body closer

New administration has plans to ‘make school fun’


photo or infographic by Reid Henderson

WE ARE WILLIS. At Meet the Kats, senior Savannah Paske hitches a ride on the back of sophomore Carly Paugh as the volleyball team is announced. The event included all teams, band, sweethearts, cheer and ROTC in an effort to build an espirit de corps in the Wilkdat community. A goal of new principal Chad Smith is to increase school spirit at the school and in the community.

In years past, Wildkats sat bored in class, counting the seconds till the final bell of the day rang. With the push to increase school spirit, those days are in the past. Principal Jonathan Smith has tunnel vision on pep rallies and enthusiasm. The goal: make school fun. 

“I wanted to introduce school spirit because I want students to be excited about their school,” Smith said. “It helps with attendance. The more students are here the more they will learn. It aids the school in overall becoming a more positive place. That is our goal.”

With spirit comes a feeling of togetherness as a student body. Pep rallies and spirit sticks give everyone a chance to celebrate.

“I think school spirit is an important thing to have,” junior Samantha Sullivan said. “Spirit will always bring people and the school as a whole together because we’re all collectively rooting for the same thing.”

After COVID-19, activities in school were either altered or canceled. Now that cases are declining, Wildkats get to experience high school like it was meant to be.

“I want students to enjoy the activities of a normal high school,” Smith said. “That is what I’m most excited about doing when I bring back certain activities.”

Spirit sticks are being brought back this year, with the outcome being some friendly competition.

STAND FOR OUR COLORS. (photo or infographic by Wildkat Media)

“All four grades are represented in a section of the gym. A yell leader in front of their section to get those students excited to earn the spirit stick. Cheerleaders chanting, the dance team performing and the band playing,” Smith said. “That would be the perfect pep rally.”

School spirit is something new to some students at Willis. It’s encouraged to join in on the school song.

“I think that spirit will bring the school together more because it encourages fun and helps people build new relationships,” junior Ashley Flowers said. “I hope as many people as possible get the chance to join their peers and chant for the school we love.”