A week of AMSA pride, spirit, and scholarship fundraising

AMSA%27s+Spirit+Week+is+traditionally+capped+by+color+wars%2C+a+battle+between+high+school+classes.
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A week of AMSA pride, spirit, and scholarship fundraising

AMSA's Spirit Week is traditionally capped by color wars, a battle between high school classes.

AMSA's Spirit Week is traditionally capped by color wars, a battle between high school classes.

Sahiti Basani

AMSA's Spirit Week is traditionally capped by color wars, a battle between high school classes.

Sahiti Basani

Sahiti Basani

AMSA's Spirit Week is traditionally capped by color wars, a battle between high school classes.

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As the competition starts, students sound air horns and enthusiastically cheer on their grades. With the sophomores tugging against the seniors in a heated game of tug of war during AMSA’s Spirit Week pep rally, juniors and freshmen take the sides of their favorite other class.

As the bandana marking the middle of the rope pulls over towards the sophomores, the seniors give one final tug, sending the sophomores to the ground, allowing the seniors, as a class, to defend their tug of war crown.

The seniors watching clap and shout wildly. It’s not the stereotypical day at AMSA, which often is (or is at least perceived to be) more concerned with grades than with fun.

Spirit Week allowed students to show their school spirit through daily themes from Oct. 20-24. The tug of war capped the festivities.

The event is one of AMSA’s ways of helping students bond with each other. By the end of the week, the hope is that students feel more united, which is an important goal for a school with students from such a wide range of towns and cities.

“I felt more connected with my grade by the end of spirit week,” senior Christopher Horrigan said. “It was pretty awesome.”

The week also serves as an important fundraiser. Participating students (and most participate) pay a dollar a day to dress according to the various themes, which range from twin day to color wars, the highlight on Friday when students dress in the color designated for their particular class.

Between the dollars paid by students and the spirit wear sold, this year’s Spirit Week helped raise just shy of $3500, according to Maureen Evans, AMSA’s director of marketing and outreach.

I enjoyed the freshman class video the most.”

— Dan Warner

“The money was divided between the four classes and scholarship activities,” Mrs. Evans said.

In addition to dressing in their class colors, students had the opportunity to splash AMSA’s halls with their class color. The grades’ colors, from the senior class to the freshman class, were blue, orange, green, and red.

The creativity and battle to see who can cover more area in their color generates a good deal of spirit and pride.

New to Spirit Week this year was an opportunity for students to create a class video and banner to be presented during the pep rally. The videos and banners were a method to show each grade’s pride, and will leave legacies for each grade.

The videos and banners helped determine who would win the spirit stick, a baluster used to represent the winner of the pep rally. It’s an ordinary stair stick, but like any good symbol, it’s much more than just another piece of wood.

“The videos were nothing breathtaking,” senior Dan Warner said. “But I enjoyed the freshman class video the most.”

Adding the videos was the idea of interim Executive Director Dr. Mary Ann DeMello, according to senior Anirudh Kaushik, the senior representative to student government.

“She wanted to have some sort of lasting tradition,” Anirudh said. “She was really enthusiastic about the whole Spirit Week and color wars [concept] and she had a lot to offer in that regard.”

The senior class won the spirit stick, as well as color wars. They will have the opportunity to decorate the spirit stick, which is currently painted red from last year, and paint a ceiling tile to be placed in the Upper School cafeteria.

Although some frustration was shared among students regarding organization of the days, most students seemed satisfied and some are already planning for the next color wars.

That stick is no ordinary piece of wood.