Spirit Week fosters schoolwide joy, adjusts to rain


Photo credit: Zoe Gazzuolo

Students and faculty cheer as 12th grade dancers finish their final Spirit Week performance. The senior class placed first in the annual dance competition, which took place on Thursday during Spirit Week.

By Allie Yang, Columnist

With a math synthesis assessment, a video to film for her Spanish class, a summative essay and a source analysis coming due, Maddie Beaubaire found herself intently focused on schoolwork during the third quarter of the year. But despite the workload, she said Archer’s annual Spirit Week provided an escape.

“It brings up the energy,” Beaubaire said. “We’re so close to spring break and buckling down tests. [I] like having something during lunch that’s not studying and just with the rest of the school.”

Spirit Week took place from March 13-17 and began with Pajama Day on Monday, followed by TV Tuesday, Wild West vs. West Coast Wednesday, Family Day on Thursday and First Letter Friday, where students dressed up as anything that began with the first letter of their name.

Ninth grade representative Finley Vincent said Student Council aimed to include a combination of returning and new events, while keeping accessibility in mind.

“We spent a while deciding, but there’s some things we wanted to keep the same as tradition, like Pajama Day,” Vincent said. “We … [created] something accessible because we don’t want people to have to buy clothing. TV Tuesday is really versatile or First Letter Friday, so we wanted to give people choice.”

During Pajama Day, Student Council hosted guess-the-cereal blindfolded, sleepwalking and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey contests, in addition to a vocal performance by Bryce Collis (’25) and Anaiya Asomugha (’24). Due to rain on Tuesday, Student Council hosted an indoor wheelbarrow race, a hula-hooping contest, riddles, Just Dance and a challenge in which students had to move an Oreo into their mouth without their hands.

The rain persisted the next day, so Student Council facilitated a “horse-racing” contest using inflatable horses, a guess-the-smoothie contest, line dancing and aerobics in the library. On Thursday, community members watched the annual Spirit Week dance competition, and First Letter Friday contained a fashion show, spelling bee and an opportunity for students to impersonate characters they dressed as.

Student Council publicized Spirit Week prior to its start to heighten students’ engagement. For example, StuCo faculty adviser Denise Hernandez said students were informed about Spirit Week at class meetings.

“We dedicated a whole 10-15 minutes in our class meeting for sixth grade [to] figure out where [they] were going to dress up as for Spirit Week,” Hernandez said. “They got so excited. You had kids with spreadsheets. If you can show authentically how excited you can be about something, it is contagious.”

Students could earn spirit points by placing in the top three for various competitions, dressing according to theme or placing in the top three during the Spirit Week dance competition.

The dance competition is usually held on Friday, but since the ninth grade would be absent due to Arrow Week, the competition took place Thursday. Students choreographed their dances, and history teachers Meg Shirk and Beth Gold and English Department Chair Brian Wogensen judged the competition. After all grades performed their pieces, faculty members performed their own dance, which was not judged. The senior class placed first, the freshmen placed second and the juniors placed third.

Vincent said the dance competition is a unique part of Archer that improves as students gain experience.

“As you progress through the grades, the dancers get better because [of] experience,” Vincent said. “It’s really unique to the Archer experience. I don’t know how many other schools have that, but it’s really nice, especially because we have uniforms — you get to dress up and get to show your originality and individuality.”

Hernandez said the week was a culmination of Student Council’s dedication, which students were able to enjoy wholeheartedly.

“Seeing all their hard work come to fruition is part of the energy, it’s part of the bonding,” Hernandez said. “Seeing their classmates come and enjoy whatever they put on [is] meaningful to the people who create it.”