“U-rah-rah-rah M-H-S! What?”
The band is playing, candy is thrown into the crowd, and the cheerleaders are leading students in various school chants. Everyone is up on their feet, cheering, laughing and having a good time.
A teacher settles the students down, and everyone takes their seat. The next 30 minutes are filled with performances by the dance team and the cheerleaders.
Welcome to an MHS school assembly.
Assemblies are a time for the student body to come together as one and show pride in what their school accomplished. But what about the many individuals, clubs, programs and even sports teams who get left out?
“Anytime we have kids that do something extraordinary; they deserve recognition,” said Jeff Harding, math teacher. “We have students who are selected for all-state band or all-state choir, but yet no one hears about it.”
While assemblies are supposed to let the student body celebrate their peers’ accomplishments, it has been shown continuously that many groups are not acknowledged publicly at an assembly.
“Last year the school production of “Trust” won awards statewide. Yet, no one besides people in theater really knew,” said junior Emma Roswick, member of the theatre program.
If an assembly is to bring the student body together, should the school not celebrate the winnings and accomplishments of other groups within the school other than sports?
The MHS community strongly caters to a variety of interests and provides its students with many opportunities. Every year there are new clubs formed; even new sports teams emerge, such as the girls lacrosse team, which was added this year.
“It is okay to have an assembly to celebrate the students, but let’s celebrate the students who have made an accomplishment,” said Harding.
Many times, assemblies celebrate most of the sports teams even though not every team mentioned had a great season. Yet, according to Harding, the show choir wins every year, and he does not remember the last time they received any recognition at an assembly.
Maybe a performance by them at the assembly would be a nice way for them to showcase their work.
“Assemblies are fun, but it is time for them to be conducted in another light, so there is an overall representation of all activities, not just sports,” said Leah Goldman, junior and member of the Coexist club.
Harding added that sports teams hold more events compared to other clubs, and in turn they are given more opportunities to have their story be told.
Even still, some teams are left out.
Goldman, who also plays on the JV girls soccer team, said, “We have one assembly that seems to be centered around football, and [in turn] there seems to be no school spirit for girls soccer.”
Girls soccer is not the only sport to feel shoved to the side.
English Teacher Beth Willis, who is also the head coach of both JV volleyball teams, said that since 2005, the MHS volleyball teams have won the Sportsmanship Award multiple times, yet she cannot recall the team getting much recognition other than what was done within the team.
Harding said over the years MHS has improved in recognizing a variety of students and teams; however, there is still room for improvement.
With so many clubs and sports teams, incorporating every single activity held at MHS seems to be a tedious and impossible task. However, there are ideas stirring around the school as to how to make the task less of a headache.
“I’d love to see a couple times a month a showcase event,” said Harding.
Similar to how the school puts a lot of energy into homecoming, Harding would love to see the school body do the same for a new activity beyond sports.
“I would like to see for a whole month all we talk about is the upcoming choir concert, or band concert, or art show, or theater production, or sporting event,” said Harding. “Then we see the student body attending the event of the month…similarly to how the student body as a whole attends the homecoming football game, but continue to do this all year.”
On the other hand, Willis suggested that because there are so many clubs and activities, the school can continue to use social media to their advantage. When it comes to events, they should be promoted in advance. In today’s world, students have busy lives, and it is hard for all of them to drop what they are doing to attend an event they just heard about. This advanced notice would allow for more preparation and, in turn, higher turnout at events that are less publicized now.
Willis also suggested using electronic calendars that hold all of the club meetings, sporting events, choir and band performances so that students are able to see what all MHS has to provide.
“I would like to see more representation of what MHS has to offer at assemblies, not just sports,” said Roswick. “There are so many clubs at MHS I have not even heard about. It would be nice for them all to be recognized at an assembly.”
Whether it is having a showcase event every month, more updates and broader social media postings, or simply setting some time aside to recognize the other activities at MHS, there are multiple steps that MHS can take.
“If [a club, sport or group at MHS] is positively affecting the school and/or the community, they deserve to be recognized,” said Willis. “I think MHS has a lot to be proud of. Students do a lot of amazing things; it would be nice to find an [effective] way to recognize them all.”