Thursday, 19/10/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Rallying School Spirit

Rallying School Spirit

Rally promotes community, school togetherness

By Shannon Myers
Correspondent

As summer wraps up, families and individuals can look forward to cooler temperatures, the turning of leaves, and pumpkin spice everything the fall season brings. For students, it also brings the beginning of a new school year.
The fifth annual Harker Heights High School Community Back to School Rally helped students and the community prepare for and instill excitement for the new school year on Friday evening.
“We’re trying to bring the community and the school to work together to make a beneficial relationship for each of us. It’s grown and grown every year…We want to encourage the students and we want to see that the community is there for them and that we’re all working together,” said Kayren McCarty.
The free event had 32 vendors and student organizations at the rally.
“Research says that students who are connected to their school in some way and in the community usually do better academically,” said McCarty.
Vendors and student organizations had free giveaways, and drawings, bouncy houses, gaming activities, food and refreshments, Knights Spirit Items, and pictures with players.
“We look for ways to get more involved in the community and thought this would be a great opportunity. There is always going to be new parents and kids in the area and so just letting them get to know everybody in the community and the school (to) feel welcome and give them support. Besides helping the students, it’s also helping the community,” said Renee Ward, marketing and community director for Integrity Rehab and Home Health.
One of the many school organizations present was the Student Council. Junior, Alexus Shipp helped out at the booth to show school spirit.
“I just wanted myself and others to have pride in school and set the temperature for the new school year. Also, to motivate people to come out to the football games, show school spirit, and to get involved in the community,” said Shipp.
The rally hosted hundreds of families, providing a positive and friendly environment to meet old and new friends and businesses within the community. People have noted a change in the community’s cohesion since the starting of the community back to school rallies.
“We’re technically a small town, but we’ve never acted like one before and it just seems like it’s a different feel now that we’ve started these things. (It) just allows everybody to feel more connected to the school. I mean, I see families here that I don’t even think have a kid in high school, so their younger kids are here seeing these older kids. Seeing what they might want to be or do in the future,” said parent, Stacy Harp.
The rally commenced with the Red Brigade Band led by the Crusaders and Cheerleaders JROTC Presented the Colors. After the fight song and performances by the cheerleaders and Crusaders, Harker Heights Mayor, Roy Robinson led with a proclamation.
“City of Harker Heights, Knights of the Round Table, Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, businesses, and city organizations, city and school staff have all gathered here to encourage students and staff to be diligent, excel, and to keep your sense of humor,” said Mayor Robinson.
The principal introduced faculty staff and coaches of fall sports introduced their teams. After the pep rally, families and students gathered around the various local business booths and student organizations to socialize and participate in the activities.
“Seeing our friends again and having all the vendors coming out because they’re like different people in the community and it’s nice to see different businesses here and what they’re doing,” said senior and cheerleader Karianna Barreto.

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