School spirit returns with annual Renaissance rally
February 21, 2023
The auditorium was crowded Feb. 15 with students eagerly looking for friends over the sea of peers and were ushered to the nearest seat. Bright neon green lights shone and moved across the blue curtains on stage, commencing the first renaissance rally since 2020.
The Renaissance rally is typically an annual school event recognizing students for their academic achievements and growth. Those with a GPA of 3.0 or above are recognized.
The echo of drums from drumline rang in the air Principal Audrey Asplund and Assistant Principal Tina Perez announced that 878 students made renaissance this year.
ASB took the stage next, and began the second part of the rally, the games. The first game, a donut eating contest, had eight students in pairs of two. One holding a stick with a string attached to a donut held in the air for their partner, the other being blindfolded as they attempt to eat the sweet treat suspended in the air. The second game, limbo, had ten participants and the stick was lowered with each round, becoming a battle of resilience and flexibility.
“Being part of the donut game was really fun,” junior Sierra Engle said. “It was a little stressful since I’m a competitive person but not scary.”
Afterwards, Perez and fellow Assistant Principal Scott McNutt took over the stage leading a third game, heads or tails, which only happened during rally 4B; the winner received two tickets to the semi-final CIF basketball game.
Having a school recognize your growth and achievements throughout the year is really special, and it is important for our students to take pride in their achievements,” — ASB adviser Laura Adair
Having a school recognize your growth and achievements throughout the year is really special, and it is important for our students to take pride in their achievements,”
— ASB adviser Laura Adair
Once the game finished the slideshow started displaying the names of students being recognized for their academic excellence. Appearing first was silver level, honoring students with a gpa of 3.0 to 3.49, following would be the gold, 3.5 to 3.99, and platinum levels, 4.0 and on. Next was the blue level, which was for students who had drastically improved the most in each grade level from the beginning of the year to the end of the semester.
Aftwards, Asplund gave a short speech retelling a story of her own hardships in school. One year she had received an F for a mindterm but a C minus for that class. Asplund went on to explain that while she did not receive an A, in that moment, it was a success for her.
“Other people give us definitions of what success is, but we have to create our own and it might be a C minus [or] a 4.0,” Asplund said during her speech. “We can’t allow other people to define what success looks like.”
Once finished, the top 20 seniors were announced, each called up to the stage and acknowledged for their hard work and dedication. They, along with all other students recognized, will be receiving a certificate, sticker, bulldog pin, and a lanyard in the following weeks.
When both rallies came to a close, one final surprise was revealed. Perez spoke about how proud faculty and staff were, and how they wanted to show their appreciation. As she left the stage the lights darked, the slideshow was taken down, and music started again.
Teachers and staff ran on stage, they performed dance sequences, some in big groups, some in duos. The auditorium was filled with screams, students had yelled out for their teachers who danced on stage while phones were raised when they tried to capture the moment.
“I was thrilled to see my teachers on stage, seeing one do a cartwheel was definitely a notable and impressive act,” Engle said.
This year’s rally has greatly improved from the previous years, according to many students. ASB wanted to try new things this year in the hopes of getting more students engaged and encouraging them to continue their hard work.
“Having a school recognize your growth and achievements throughout the year is really special, and it is important for our students to take pride in their achievements,” ASB adviser Laura Adair said.