The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Spirit Week Day 5: Juniors sweep spring rally

Alison Yang
Arthur Wu (11) cheers for his grade before the announcement of the spirit winners. The juniors finished the spirit events in first place with 4,475 points.

Students and staff closed out spirit week with a rally held in the Athletic Center, wearing their class shirts and cheering on their respective grades on Friday. 

Hip-hop group Kinetic Krew opened the event with a high-energy performance to “DOLLA SIGN SLIME” by Lil Nas X. 

With the week’s theme of “Road Trip,” each class was assigned a specific location during a school meeting on Feb. 22 to center their spirit activities around. 

Spirit coordinator Luke Mehta (12) opened the spirit rally by introducing Harker Spirit Leadership Team’s “road trip” themed videos to cover each class’s location. The first video, recorded at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, referenced the frosh class’ theme of “amusement park.”  Members of the frosh class took the floor with their spirit dance to songs including “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. 

A clip of the sophomore class theme of “beach” followed, with sophomores performing their dance to songs like “Starships” by Nicki Minaj to “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.” 44 students and five sophomore class advisers participated in the dance, the largest population of all grades. 

Sophomore spirit dance choreographer Sofia Shah (10) recognized the effort the dancers put into learning and practicing the choreography and reminisced on the fun moments the group shared along the way.

Sophomore Ruhi Banerjee smiles while being lifted by fellow spirit dancers during the sophomore dance themed to the beach. “All of us came together during office hours and lunch to rehearse it, and choreographers were sometimes trying to pull it together even on the weekends,” spirit dance choreographer Sofia Shah (10) said. (Alison Yang)

“Last year, it was a very wholesome environment, and I really wanted to replicate it,” Sofia said. “All of us came together during office hours and lunch to rehearse it, and choreographers were sometimes trying to pull it together even on the weekends — it came out really well.” 

Students and staff then competed in the scream-off, where chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine used a decibel meter to measure each class’ sound levels. Scream-off participants could only use their voices, hands and feet to make noise. The juniors took first place, with a decibel level of 120.3. The sophomores placed second, and the seniors and frosh followed. 

Varsity cheer performed a routine to a medley of Rihanna songs, starting with “Where Have You Been” and ending with “Diamonds.”

Juniors rushed onto the floor to perform the third spirit dance of the day, with their theme of “the mall.” Songs like “7 Rings,” “Thrift Shop” and “Low” blasted through the speakers. Spirit dancers held shopping bags labeled with parodies of popular store logos and advisers’ names, like “Cung Fu Tea” and “Janda Express.”

Two representatives from each grade then competed in three sets of relay races. Although the previous spirit relays only required participation from the representatives, this relay also called-for audience engagement. In one race, each class worked together to crowd-surf a giant beach ball to the top of the bleachers, where class deans had to touch the ball before it could be transported back down. Seniors took first place, with Justin Chao and Veyd Patil as representatives, followed by the sophomore class, who appointed Spencer Chang and Brady Tse to the relay.

Ella Lan (12) smiles while dancing along to the senior concert-themed spirit dance. Despite coming in third place for the spirit dance, the seniors won second place overall in spirit. (Alison Yang)

For the last spirit dance, the seniors opened with “Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat. Senior class advisers waved their phone flashlights during parts of the dance, attempting to recreate a “concert” environment. 

Frosh class dean Jeanette Fernandez, sophomore class dean Meredith Cranston, junior class dean Christopher Hurshman and senior class dean Carol Green then came to the floor for a game of “name that tune.” Each song was worth three points: one point each for song title, artist and the subsequent line of lyrics. Green won first place for the class of 2024, followed by the class of 2025 in second and the classes of 2026 and 2027 tied for third. 

Fernandez reflected on the importance of cultivating a community through spirit, especially for the frosh class. 

“The frosh class got really energized,” Fernandez said. “They were very cohesive and just one big family, and I enjoyed that. We’re with each other for four years, so you want there to be a community to uplift each other.”

Cynthia Wang (9) dances in the frosh spirit dance themed to amusement parks during the spirit rally. The frosh won second place for the spirit dance. (Alison Yang)

Director of Student Organizations Eric Kallbrier then expressed appreciation for the support of the upper school teachers. HSLT vice president Daniel Chen presented the winner of the Staff Spirit of Spirit award, math teacher Caren Furtado. 

Daniel also announced the juniors’ first place finish in the spirit dance, with the frosh coming in second, sophomores in third and seniors last. HSLT president Arjun Moogimane (12) revealed the results of the banner painting contest: juniors in first, followed by the seniors, frosh and sophomores. 

Juniors placed first overall with 4,475 spirit points, including points carried over from last fall’s Homecoming Week. Seniors trailed close behind the juniors, finishing in second place with 3,325 points. Sophomores followed in third place, with frosh in last. 

“All I can say is that it felt amazing,” junior class SAB representative Jia Jia Jiang said. “Going into the rally, our class was aware that Mr. Hurshman had never won spirit, so we really wanted to go out there and win it for him. He’s been a fantastic dean, and we wanted to show him that we care about him by doing our best in the rally and triumphing as spirit champs.”

Juniors yells during their turn of the scream-off. The juniors finished in first place with a decibel level of 120.3. (Emma Milner)
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About the Contributors
Tiffany Zhu
Tiffany Zhu, Reporter
Tiffany Zhu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Tiffany hopes to meet more members of the Harker and journalism community and share topics she's passionate about with them. In her free time, she enjoys baking and watching all genres of movies.
Emma Milner
Emma Milner, Co-Sports Editor
Emma Milner (11) is the co-sports editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Emma wishes to maintain strong sports coverage and continue improving her photography skills. Outside of school, she plays badminton competitively, and in her free time, she likes to watch Suits.
Alison Yang
Alison Yang, Co-A&E and Lifestyle Editor
Alison Yang (11) is the co-arts and entertainment and lifestyle editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. Alison is looking forward to getting to know more people and working on photography. She also likes to hang out with her cat Schrödinger, play Russian Fishing 4 and watching bad movies.

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