Upper school community enjoys eagle painting, karaoke and candy at annual Spirit Night


Emily Tan

Senior Student Activities Board (SAB) representative Kate Olsen fastens a headband with Shrek ears made of polymer clay onto the senior eagle.

by Emily Tan, Winged Post Co-Editor-in-Chief

Approximately 70 students and faculty gathered outside Manzanita Hall and the journalism room for the upper school Spirit Night from 3-6 p.m. on Friday. Hosted by the Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT), Spirit Night serves as the precursor event to Homecoming Week, which begins tomorrow, Oct. 4, and ends Friday, Oct. 8.  

Over the course of the event, students sang along to karaoke placed outside Manzanita and added final touches on their class eagles to meet the deadline at 6 p.m. after around two weeks of painting. 

“Every single time during lunch, you see people outside painting and having a really good time,” eagle painter Alice Tao (10) said. “Contributing to something that kind of represents our class was just super cool to me.”

Freshman Mirabelle Feng also helped her class finish painting their eagle on Spirit Night, signing up for the spirit activity after receiving encouragement from her advisor, upper school history teacher Roxana Pianko. 

“I usually don’t participate in anything spirited,” Mirabelle said. “I feel like I’m always too out front, but [eagle painting] was fun because anyone can participate in a not-as-straightforward way.” 

In addition to eagle painting, students also enjoyed refreshments provided by HSLT and spending time with classmates. Junior Jacob Huang, who sang a variety of karaoke songs such as “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and “Firework” by Katy Perry, performed alongside his fellow juniors under the name “Team L.”

“I thought we did great,” Jacob said. “I can’t really sing, so I was kind of shouting the lyrics. [Our team name] actually gave us a little more confidence—if we’re going to be Team L, might as well go for it.”

For both freshmen and sophomores, Friday served as a preview to their first-ever high school Homecoming experience.

“I just showed up to hang out with friends,” said Max Xing (10), who signed up for the dodgeball tournament taking place during the Homecoming rally on Oct. 7. “I’m looking forward to all the events going on.”

Spirit Night activities followed the morning Spirit block period, which provided students with the opportunity to either continue eagle painting or gather with their classes to practice for Homecoming Week activities such as the lip sync or tug-of-war competition.

Behind the scenes, HSLT has held meetings at least once a week for the past month to prepare for Homecoming and Spirit Night.  

“My hope is that people enjoy everything that their peers, the Harker Spirit Leadership Team, has put together,” Director of Upper School Community Service and Student Activities Coordinator Kerry Enzensperger said. “While there is competition, it’s all about having fun and celebrating together.”

Homecoming Week kicks off tomorrow with mind games and eagle painting, followed by the Homecoming parade and tug-of-war preliminary rounds on Tuesday, trivia on Wednesday, the Homecoming rally on Thursday and a scavenger hunt on Friday. 

“This truly is a Homecoming—it’s coming back home for the first time in over a year and a half,” Director of Student Organizations and Assistant Activities Director Eric Kallbrier said. “Seeing how many people are out here and talking together and hanging out and building relationships, it means that we’re back in the business of being together.”