School Spirit Succeeding the Pandemic

ASB serves pancakes to students and staff / Photographer: Roan Ontjes-Degroot


Powering off computer screens and returning to in-person school has been quite an adjustment for many high school students on Orcas Island. After a hectic and oftentimes frustrating year and a half of social distancing from the 2020 COVID pandemic, students are excited to be back. Together again, the tight-knit student body is reminded once again of what makes Orcas Island High School great: namely our prosperous athletics teams, dedicated staff, committed service, hobby, and discussion clubs, and frequent school spirit events. Viking pride is once again prevalent, and stronger than ever. 

With the dedication of this year’s new lineup of ASB, various recent and established Orcas High School traditions and opportunities to show school spirit have been established. A noteworthy school tradition is homecoming week, occurring during the week of Oct. 4 – 8. Students decorate hallways in correspondence to that year’s theme, perform in class lip-syncs, elect royalty, dance, dress for theme days, and participate in an end-of-the-week parade. Being able to be in-person this year has really made a difference, providing students with far more opportunities to participate than last year, motivated and able to aid their fellow students in preparing for homecoming week and making up for last year’s cancellation. Students put in the effort to deliver this event, employing their artistic talents to decorate their respective hallway in correspondence to this year’s theme: decades. Class lip-syncs were performed with more effort and commitment than in past years, as every grade seemed to be relieved to be back and willing to give it their all in welcome competitive spirit. Homecoming week was a chance to compensate for last year’s unfortunate recall, and students delivered, providing the student body with a memorable and well-executed recollection for years to come. 

Another revival of a familiar school tradition following the pandemic is the monthly school pancake breakfasts, for the purpose of “school connectedness and spirit”. 

With the first occurring on Sept. 24, students are provided with an exciting break from the regular breakfasts offered by the school cafeteria: chocolate chip and traditional pancakes, enlivened with plenty of butter and maple syrup. The event is open to all high schoolers, before classes from 7:45-8:20 a. m. expectantly on the first Friday of every month outside of Corey Wiscomb and Brett Mcfarland’s classrooms. Friday Nov. 5 marked the second school pancake breakfast, bringing as many as 25 students. 

Congratulatory pumpkin muffins were additionally prepared by the Culinary Arts Class as a “good job” on making it through the first quarter on Oct. 29. Though students have participated in school spirit events previously this school year, it is not even midway through, there will undoubtedly be more school events and celebrations to come. Events in which students shine light on the other affairs the school provides than strictly academic aspects and athletic programs, to take appreciation in what makes Orcas Island High School so great and worthy of pride.