Upper school holds first spirit rally of 2017-2018 school year


Nicole Chen

The seniors cheer as they face the sophomores in the second tug of war of today’s rally. At tomorrow’s Homecoming game, the seniors will compete against the juniors for the final round of this week’s tug of war competitions.

by Tiffany Wong, Aquila News Editor

Students and faculty gathered on Davis Field today for the 2017-2018 school year’s first spirit rally, which marked the conclusion of this week’s Spirit Week.

The juniors, sophomores and freshmen convened between their respective class color flags before the start of the event, while the seniors rushed onto Davis Field from the first floor of Shah. The emcees soon kicked off the rally by introducing the cheer team, who opened today’s field festivities with a peppy routine to a mashup of pop songs.

Nicole Chen
The cheer team performs a split leap during their routine. Their dance was the first of the many performances at today’s rally.

After the cheerleaders’ dance, the freshmen performed a Dora-themed skit that followed a student new to the upper school’s journey through navigating the many challenges posed to them by the sophomores, juniors and seniors. The sketch, which featured Class of 2021 dean Jeffrey Draper, concluded with the freshmen rushing to the center of the field to the theme song of “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

For the first tug of war of the rally, the juniors beat out the freshmen. The sophomores then presented their skit, which revolved around the struggles of asking peers to Homecoming. A group of dancers, along with dance teacher Karl Kuehn, performed a short routine in the middle of the skit.

Each class then elected one faculty member to participate in “Name that Tune.” Senior class representative and Director of Learning, Innovation and Design Diane Main beat out the rest of the competition with five songs correctly named, with second place finisher English teacher Christopher Hurshman joining Main on the leaderboard with one song correctly named.

The homecoming court relay race took place halfway through the rally. Each class’ elected homecoming couple participated in a series of challenges to advance through the checkpoints of the race. The junior court of Matthew Hajjar (11) and Meghna Phalke (11) emerged victorious in the event, with the seniors coming in second, the sophomores third and the freshmen fourth.

Nicole Chen
Sophomore Homecoming court couple Arun Sundaresan (10) and Christine Tang (10) wheelbarrow to a checkpoint of the relay race. They finished third in the competition, behind the juniors and the seniors.

Members of the Class of 2019 then performed their skit, which featured English teacher Daniel Gattozzi, Hurshman, performing arts director Laura Lang-Ree and history teacher Andrea Milius traveling through the years of 2057, 2017 and 2019 with a time machine. A group of students danced to a song from movie “High School Musical 3” at the end of the skit.

The varsity dance team performed a routine on Davis Field before the last skit of the rally, which paid tribute to Class of 2018 dean Victor Adler with a sketch, supplemented with memories of “the summer of ‘69,” set during Adler’s retirement in the future. The second tug of war on Davis Field pitted the seniors against the sophomores, who initially gained a lead but lost their advantage to the seniors.

Director of Upper School Clubs Eric Kallbrier thanked students and faculty for coming out to the rally at the conclusion of the event. He sent out an online ballot for this year’s Homecoming king and queen to the student body around half an hour after the rally.

“I think the spirit rally went really well. Looking around, it seems like people were laughing and having fun and having a good time,” Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger said. “This is the first time that the Harker Spirit leadership team took the reins and did everything [themselves], and I think everybody besides myself was impressed. I actually even got an email from Kuehn that says ‘Thank you for a great Homecoming week. I really feel like the spirit of our school has increased so much!’”

This week’s spirit competitions crowned the sophomores as the winners of the eagle painting, the juniors as the winners of Tuesday’s blindfolded art competition and the seniors as the winners of Thursday’s scream-off on Davis Field.

To conclude this week’s Homecoming festivities, the upper school will hold their Homecoming dance tonight in Nichols Atrium and the varsity football team will host the Rio Vista High School Rams for the upper school’s annual Homecoming game tomorrow. The football match will feature the announcement of this year’s Homecoming court winners and the final tug of war between the seniors and the juniors.