Behind the scenes of spirit weeks

Leadership explains what goes into creating a equitable spirit week for all students.


(from left to right) Payten Roth, Eva Caulfield, Sarah Boehringer, Madeleine Joule, and Madelyn Feeney dress up for winter spirit week.

By Olivia Breen, Staff Writer

     During a typical school year, leadership students organize at least two different spirit weeks. During the winter spirit week, the theme of “Mathletes vs. Athletes” was set for Tuesday. The theme was deemed offensive by the THS community and was changed to “Decade Day”.  

     When asked about the change, former Vice President of the ASB spirit committee Bella Jett responded,

      “We got rid of ‘Mathletes vs. Athletes’ because we do not believe it represents the students within the school and limits and creates stereotypes. To choose one insinuates you can’t be both. It also creates a rift between groups [and] it suggests that how you dress or correlates with how you look or your knowledge of things.” 

     After THS’s winter spirit week underwent spirit day themes, the Paw decided to talk more with leadership about what happened and how these events are organized. 

     During the planning stages, “We try our best to not put out controversial spirit days and if we feel or have been communicated to that we are harming anyone we do our best to take it down and not repeat,” Jett said. In this case, “Mathletes vs. Athletes” is now a theme to not be repeated. 

     Many components go into creating a successful & inclusive spirit week for THS, most of which are behind the scenes work done by the ASB Spirit Committee. However, the students receive feedback from Jesse Abell, the leadership teacher, as well as other adults on campus’ Matt Kingsley, THS’s Culturally Responsive Coordinators, has shared his knowledge with the spirit committee on how to create spirit-out themes that are as inclusive as possible. Afterwhich flyers and promotional ads are sent out.
    Jett shared, “We recycle favorite spirit days. We do our best to make it accessible [so that] students aren’t forced to constantly buy new things and can use items they already have.” 

     This is why students see some of the same spirit days from spirit week to spirit week. Other spirit days themes may never be used, like twin day, crazy hair day, and others. 

     Junior and leadership student Carol Cortes explained twin day is no longer used because not everybody may have a “twin” to participate with. Crazy hair day is not used anymore either to avoid hairstyles being wrongly or disrespectfully used. 

     Ultimately, the spirit days aim to make more students feel good about THS and not excluded or judged. 

     When asked their thoughts about spirit days sophomore Roxy Sheridan shared, “I really like spirit days because it’s fun to see everyone’s outfits at school, especially the creative kids who go all out. I think sometimes spirit days make people more excited to come to school when they get to dress up as well.” 

     Junior Ashlyn Murphy, when asked the same question, said, “I like spirit week, I think leadership does a pretty good job in planning and advising it. And I think it’s a fun idea in general, not just because I like an excuse to wear pajamas to school!”