The “more the merrier”: ASB works to get students back into school spirit


Colette Packard

RECORD BREAKING. Trying to get students back into the bulldog spirit, Buena had it’s first and free Homecoming since 2019 with 500 more students attending than in the last five years. “In terms of data and numbers, I think we’re definitely seeing an improvement.” Madeleine Wilkowske said.

Kimberly Solis, Editor

In March 2020 the world came to a sudden halt and schools shut down as COVID19 surged across the world. Madeleine Wilkowske was running ASB through a pandemic and is now working harder than ever towards getting students back in the Bulldog spirit with the return to campus and in-person learning.

Previously teaching art, math, and dance during her second year of teaching, Wilkowske is now advising ASB while still teaching dance. Given the opportunity with the new opening, Wilkowske thought her background and skills in running a small business could apply to a public school setting by seeing what she could do to bring school spirit, events, and new ideas.

“Although a small business such as a dance studio is not  exactly like running a school there are events that you put on,” Wilkowske said. “There’s branding and programming and trying to make people at the studio feel included and involved.” 

After a year and a half of online school, ASB is increasing the number of events that students can participate in. Homecoming 2021 was free and that didn’t limit students from going because of the “financial obligation” in previous years. In removing the fee, it encouraged more students to participate. ASB is focusing on increasing the number of events and aiming to open accessibility more than ever before.

“At the football games, we’ve been giving away free spirit items to the students sitting in the spirit section. We’ve done pom poms and foam fingers.” Wilkowske said. “Just showing up to the game and being part of that school spirit experience, we want to reward people for that.”

Noticing the increased attendance at football games and volleyball games, along with the packed quad at Food Fair, Wilkowske feels like kids are “really excited” about being back at school. 

“I feel like kids right now are really excited about just being back here and being involved in something that’s not sitting at home behind a computer screen, I feel, I am seeing a difference.” Wilkowske said. “Our highest Homecoming attendance in the last five years was 300 some[thing] students, and we had 850 come out for homecoming this year.”

“Our highest Homecoming attendance in the last five years was 300 some[thing] students, and we had 850 come out for homecoming this year.”

— Madeleine Wilkowske

As for appealing to class levels, ASB is continuing with the Renaissance rally and are working on plans for the upcoming weeks. They also plan to follow through with the commitment to graduate class. One activity involves giving water bottles to each class with their grad year printed on them and the possibility of getting more refillable water stations in honor of the graduating class.

Seniors can also look forward to paw prints with their graduating class numbers. ASB president and senior Ella Haas gives an insight on what the last week of school will look like for the graduating class of 2022.

“Normally what we do is we have a senior spirit week,” Haas said. “Which is one of their last weeks because seniors don’t go to school the last week of school.”

Starting with the spirit and athletics committee, they brainstorm during lunch and or break. Putting those ideas down, they make a list of the possible spirit days and take a class vote.

“This year in ASB, we have two periods. So we’ll do a poll that includes both periods and we’ll come up with what are the top five spirit days that we’re going to do.” Wilkowske said. “There’s a lot of spirit days that don’t get used, because we come up with lots of different ideas, but we’ll put those back into the drawing for the next spirit week that we have.”

However, spirit week isn’t the only time students can show school spirit. There’s many opportunities and Wilkowske strongly encourages everyone to get into school spirit. 

“You only get to be in high school for so long. Take a chance and be involved in those things (spirit day activities), because that’s how you make memories. That’s how you feel fulfilled about your high school experience,” Wilkowske said. “Those students that are unsure I want them to know that we want them to participate and we want to see them show up to games and events and dances because the feeling in my heart has always been, the more, the merrier.”