Expressing School Spirit


by Aaron Brooks

Students at WCHS are showing their school spirit. Go Wildcats!

School spirit can mean many things, but one thing is for sure: it helps create an enjoyable and positive environment for everyone. In recent years school spirit has decreased, resulting in negative factors dictating students’ education and mental health.

School spirit is one of the major factors that affect a student’s everyday life. According to the Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research at Southern Adventist University (JIUR), school spirit is defined as the driving force that not only unites students and faculty in supportive behavior toward their school, but also differentiates them from members of other institutions. Although given this definition, the meaning of school spirit can mean different things depending on the person. “It’s very important to support school sports and prevent fights,” states Junior, Ezinaye Ibiam.

School spirit has proved its importance as it creates an overall positive environment for not only students, but staff as well. It is a significant contributor to the improvement of academic performance. Good school spirit consists of participation in school held events and respectful behaviors. Such as attending games, positive attitudes towards the school, and an overall sense of pride and belonging. It’s important to improve school spirit as it will help students maintain good relationships and increase their motivation to want to do better academically.

The article from JIUR also displays a survey taken by 1,500 students during 2013-2014 school year, explaining the overall positive impact of school spirit on students. The survey identified that “high-school students were involved in an average of eight extracurricular activities; and among those individuals involved in activity programs, 51 percent said the reason they were involved is so that they can be involved in their school, and 34 percent said getting involved is a way to show their school spirit.”

Mrs. Ingram, English teacher states, “If students are more active in school activities, it overall impacts their performance and students who are more excited do better as well.”

While school spirit has shown to help the students and overall environment of schools, some believe it doesn’t make an impact at all.

“I don’t think about it at all…too busy with school, ” explains Junior, Leah Hernandez She continued, “It does not help academically at all.” Leah further explained, proving school spirit isn’t the same for everyone.

How can school spirit improve one’s academic performance? According to the Connecticut Association of Schools, students perform better academically, are more social and civically engaged, and are happier in general then students that may not have as much pride. It has also been said that school spirit is connected to achievement and increases motivation.

“It can help take your mind off things and less stress,” explains Junior, Ezinaye Ibiam.

Not only does it help academic performance, but it can give an overall awarding feeling towards the students. The National Federation of State High School Associations states that school spirit awards students for their academic performance, engaging faculty, administrators and staff, promoting clubs and organizations; holding school events, etc.…

WCHS offers so many ways for students to show school spirit from athletics, afterschool clubs, the school newspaper and yearbook to dress up days, STEP/dance programs and more.  If these are not a fit, students can also show spirit by attending/supporting activities like plays, sports games, dances etc.

Staying connected to WCHS by reading the newspaper, watching the news show, or checking out the Facebook pages are also another way to participate and get involved.

“We Are Wildcats” poster that is posted in all classrooms of Wesley Chapel. A subtle way of reminding students who they are and proves a positive and engaging vibe towards the school.