The New Spark of School Spirit


Raider Times photo / By Heidi Rush

School spirit is an extremely important aspect of getting by in high school. Watertown High School is utterly lacking in it. Since students so often disrespect teachers, teachers must put more effort forward to discipline students.  Unfortunately, due to low morale and the fact that many students dread participating in classes, some students don’t have a good experience at school. The administration at our school has been making an effort to enliven school spirit and in turn raise the moral of students and faculty alike to help our school achieve a better and safer atmosphere.

In previous years, Watertown High School designated a “Spirit Week” in which students participated in various themed activities, marking each day of the week with a different activity usually involving a different way to dress. Not all students participate in this, and the outlook that all ever will is, as pathos, doubtful. However now, our school has put in place a new spirit system calling for every Friday to be a Spirit Day, in which students and staff are encouraged to wear school colors with the promise of being rewarded for participation and overall spirit.

Free T-shirts have been given to all students and staff with Watertown High School’s R.E.A.C.H acronym printed to them as a crest, to promote pride and to be worn at any time, but markedly on our new Spirit Fridays. The acronym stands for “Respect. Empower. Achieve. Create. Honor.”  These are the key values that we agree are vital to raising school spirit and improving the overall quality of existence at Watertown High School. The additional involvement with the school and effort from both faculty and students may improve the school and promote general well being.

Students, including myself, agree that the addition of a real school mascot could benefit this change even further. Alice Elbakian, a junior, shares, “It’s interesting how much we support the athletic department but do not have mascots at school games.” A mascot is needed to represent the whole school, as opposed to just athletes, as there is more to be admired about our school than just our sports teams despite how important those activities are to school pride and spirit. Regardless of these changes, some students may still lack spirit or compassion for the school. This is just a fact of life.

A lack of respect from students may be resultant of a lack of help provided by others, including faculty, and a lack of motivation altogether. To remind students, even somewhat harshly, of the importance of a high school diploma could encourage more of a response in regards to increasing their spirit and bettering their grades and efforts toward getting their credits. This addition could lessen the amount of time some students spend wandering the halls, skipping class, and ditching school.

The issue of students failing and ditching class could be remedied by an increase in spirit as well as an increase in reminders of possible difficulties in the future if they do not achieve a high school diploma.  A lot of school spirit is psychological and directly connected to inspiration. A climb in the amount of pride, incentive and spirit can be achieved through the values of R.E.A.C.H. These values, if instated by increased participation in our new Friday Spirit Day will improve the morale and well-being of faculty and students. Along with the possible addition of a real mascot, this could help the school achieve a much more pleasant atmosphere in which students will thrive and safely achieve good grades throughout their years until they graduate.