Walking into school last week after regular hours, I was met with the sounds of kids’ laughter and excited chattering.
I popped my head into the gym, and saw students practicing their dance routines. The hallways and walls were decorated with colorful Viking decorations.
The excitement in the air was unmistakable. It was homecoming week.
In the past few years, Viking pride has had a resurgence with the reinvigoration of the booster club and the Associated Student Body. The combination of volunteer effort, teacher enthusiasm (thank you leadership teacher Mike Buckner) and a healthy dose of community support has resulted in the students diving into what it means to have pride in their school.
In addition to homecoming sports matches, the students had dress up days and presented an incredible assembly with lip-synching, dancing, a reminder of the rules for Saturday’s homecoming dance and the crowning of school royalty. The amount of work these students put into their assembly was incredible. It is their gift to each other and to us.
New this year, following the homecoming parade through town, booster club volunteers organized a gathering in the Village Green with fire pits, chili, hot dogs and warm drinks. The following day, islanders came together again to watch the football game against Concrete (Orcas won) and enjoy a salmon barbecue. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd when senior players and their parents – including the Lopez football players – were brought onto the field for recognition.
These kind of activities are a healthy, productive outlet for students. They learn organization skills, expand their creativity and above all, are recognized by their peers and their community for involvement with school and sports. Any time we can strengthen the bond between adult and child, it’s a major win. A community that is engaged is a community that is strong.
Thank you Orcas for staying engaged with some of the youngest members of our community and for demonstrating what it means to have Viking pride.
– Colleen Smith Armstrong