Serving as one of Cleveland’s first school-wide events for the year, and a classic school spirit builder, Cleveland’s annual homecoming week was Oct. 9-12. Starting Thursday, Oct. 5, students showed spirit and participated in games and royalty crowning at the assembly. They were able to dress up everyday of the following week for themed spirit days, decorate their class’s hallway for the annual “Hall Decs” competition, and attend the football game, followed by a highly-anticipated dance. A substantial amount of students dressed up for the various spirit days. Monday was twin day, Tuesday was decades day, Wednesday was pajama day, and an early dismissal due to the sophomores and many juniors taking the PSAT. Students returned at 3:30 p.m. to start bringing their respective hallways to life in the theme of Pixar movies. Students worked at the school until 10:30 p.m., and showed up as early as 6 a.m. the next morning for the judging of their hallway, and to view other classes’ work. Thursday was a designated “pink out” for school as well as the football game, where students dressed head to toe in pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness month. The dance came directly after the football game, ending late that night. The following day was a statewide inservice day, giving students a day of needed rest.
Cleveland’s 2017 homecoming assembly was packed with games, activities, and performances to keep the audience entertained. From the classic welcome tunnel to the dance team’s annual dance with chosen male partners, there wasn’t a dull moment.
As usual, students entered the gym through the tunnels formed by leadership students, cheerleaders, and dance team members clapping and cheering before finding their seats. Student Body President Terrance Phal began with an introduction and welcomed all students to the start of homecoming week. He gave information about the week to come, announced each class’s theme for hall decs, and talked about about the coming football game and dance.
Members from Cleveland’s band then played their rendition of the National Anthem; many students chose to sit or kneel. Leadership then led Cleveland’s traditional class roll call. Every class tried to chant the loudest over the others, and the Freshman class ultimately won.
Following roll call came the announcement of the nominated royalty for each class. Freshman royalty was Aline Chercover and Angela Trinh, sophomores were Nate Davis and Sasha Birk, juniors were Ella Sorensen and Cassel Evens (represented by Nick Paesler), and seniors were Litia Ofa and Ali Joli. The homecoming royalty members then played a version of musical chairs where they had to find a member of the audience from their class that fit a certain description. Seniors ended up taking the win.
The newly-formed cheer team then performed a short routine with the football players where they danced and did stunts together.
Next came one of the most anticipated events of Cleveland’s assemblies–the staff dance off. The first round was between Eric Levine and Doña Ester as team one, and Michael Bauer and John Taylor as team two. Team three, Erik Running and Lauren Boubel, competed against Eric Frazier and Rafael Bobenrieth, team four. Levine and Ester were sent to the final round, as were Frazier and Bobenrieth. Bobenrieth and Frazier won the overall dance off to “Bye, Bye, Bye” by NSync, although students and staff alike were impressed with every teacher’s dancing abilities.
Phal, the student body president, said, “My absolute best part of the homecoming assembly was Mr. Running dancing like a crazy person. It made my day.”
For the next event, the dance team preformed a routine with their male guests. They danced to a mash-up of songs starting with “Can I Have This Dance” from Disney’s High School Musical. The songs and dancing soon sped up to “Fergalicious”, “Oops I Did it Again”, and “Hollaback Girl” and got the crowd cheering.
According to Eric Mirsepassi, Cleveland’s leadership teacher, the crowd was a big part of this assembly. He said, “Overall (the assembly) went very well in terms of keeping time and getting the crowd more engaged by having games that incorporated them. While it was a lot more crowd oriented, I think we still need to work on incorporating all sectors of the student body and getting feedback.”
After the performances, Phal began to wrap it up with the last couple games. Members from each class, including staff, had two minutes to run back and forth across the gym grabbing a balloon from one side and bringing it to their partner waiting on the other side. They then had to pop the balloon against their partner as fast as they could before racing back to the other side. Leadership kept track of the numbers and sophomores won with a total of 13 popped balloons.
Finally, it was time for homecoming royalty to strut across the gym for their fashion show, showing off their outfits to the judges. Juniors ultimately came out on top.
Students left the gym in upbeat spirits and danced to “Cha-Cha Slide” before making their way to their next classes.
Phal said, “The assembly was very enjoyable. We were able to see a little bit of everything with the class games, staff dance off and performances. The energy and entertainment were right on the money. It was a great assembly to ease our way into the versus assembly.” Leadership students agreed, saying they felt this assembly went smoothly, was fun to attend, and was a step in the right direction for what they hope future assemblies will encompass.
“We did improve a lot upon our first assembly but we will continue to make changes to improve further,” said Mirsepassi.
The annual hall decorations competition brought excitement to the whole school, with the returning class cabinet members brainstorming as early as summer beak.
After students voiced their concern for the noticeable excess of paper the year prior, a change was implemented to be more mindful of the environment. This year an announcement was made to all classes to attempt to use less paper and be creative with alternatives. Leadership teacher Eric Mirsepassi stated that the amount of environment conservation was not a category for judging this year, but will be officially implemented next year.
Freshmen impressed judges this year, winning third place in the hall decorations competition for their re-creation of the movie “Toy Story.”
Members of the class gave the judges green and yellow bandanas to wear during the performance. Their hallway began with Andy’s birthday party, where Woody and the rest of the toys were introduced. Buzz then came into the scene, and Andy took Buzz and Woody to Pizza Planet. Going through a bed sheet separating the room and the restaurant, “The Claw” appears, one of the most ambitious and impressive parts of the hallway. The freshmen used a window in the hallway to build a large rocket creating a realistic claw machine.
After Planet Pizza, the judges were brought to the scene in Syd’s room, the antagonist of the movie. They created a realistic TV by building around a teacher’s computer, and playing the advertisement from the movie of Buzz’s toy. Buzz realized that he’s a toy like the others, and Woody comforts him. They cut to the scene where Woody and Buzz are in the back of the Andy’s family’s moving truck, creating a road for a long stretch of the hall, with paper houses and trees on the side. They used a rolling office chair and built a car around it to represent the moving truck. After pushing the “moving truck” down the hallway, all of the students dressed up as characters, lined up on the steps at the end of the hallway and sang, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” the theme song of the movie.
“I saw a lot of people who were being really good leaders and helping other people get on track,” said London Mahaley, freshman class president.
Sophomores fought a tough battle this year, overcoming structure challenges while making their “Up” themed hallway. In the end, despite their best efforts, they came in fourth place for their hallway.
The morning of judging, the class of 2020 arrived at their hallway to find a majority of their paper was torn after their tape failed. Kira Swinth, sophomore class co-president, said that the state of the hallway reminded her of the natural disasters happening in our country, namely hurricanes. She and Stephanie Singh, co-president, went around to the members of their class the morning of judging and collected over $100 to donate to hurricane relief.
Some of their hallway remained intact, allowing them to perform how they had planned. The hallway began with sophomore Sydian Mikesell who portrayed Carl Fredricksen, complete with a suit, standing in his living room.
The story transitioned into years later when Carl’s house is surrounded by construction. There he met Russell, a young wilderness explorer scout, the other main character, played by Nate Davis. He and Russell began a journey to Paradise Falls together.
On the way to Paradise falls, Carl and Russell encountered a storm. This scene was produced using fans, creating a chaotic sensation. After the storm, they were met by Kevin, the rare “Snipe” bird, and Doug, the dog in the jungle. They then went to dinner with Charles Muntz, the evil character from the movie, who wanted to hunt Snipes. When Carl and Russell realized that Muntz was evil, he chased them out of the scene.
At the end of the hallway, they cut to the end where Russell received his wilderness explorer badge. Swinth gave the judges the grape soda bottlecap pin that Russell receives at the end of the movie for completing his wilderness explorer badge requirements.
“We were short some manpower so we didn’t have as many people as we expected,” said Swinth, “but I will credit the people that were there. They worked really hard, and when things got hard they stayed in it; it would’ve been really easy to leave, and I feel like people realized that this was a community-building process and it takes hard work and they really stepped up.”
The junior class had the theme of “Finding Nemo” and ultimately came in second, a motivating improvement over their last place finish the year prior.
“Our hallway was not perfectly planned out, however we had a team of juniors and parent [volunteers] that stayed all night to improvise and make the hallway even better than we had imagined,” said Junior Class President Nick Paesler.
The hallway began with a tent where judges were instructed to put on life jackets and goggles. The juniors set up a projector at the beginning to showcase the beginning of the movie when Nemo, the main character, is taken away by a scuba diver. Marlin, Nemo’s dad, portrayed by Aidan Hanley, recruited the help of Dory, played by Jordan Little-Reece. They went to the scene of the shark meeting, where three sharks made the judges repeat the famous line “fish are friends, not food.” After swimming through a trench, Dory discovered that they have to travel to Australia. They passed by a large group of students on top of a platform on the locker wells, pretending to be the birds on the harbor and saying, “Mine” repeatedly.
They created the dentist scene where the young girl, Darla, is given a fish, but Nemo, played by Mac Arnold, came in and stole the fish. The judges were then led to the end where Nemo was reunited with Dory and Marlin. The hall ended with Dory standing next to a “To Be Continued…” sign, foreshadowing the sequel “Finding Dory.”
“By the end I was very impressed with what we had accomplished and was beyond happy to see that everyone who helped had a part in making it the best that it could have been,” said Paesler. “After a loss in fourth place last year, the class of 2019 was overly motivated to place higher this year – and it showed in our motivation to make it great.”
Seniors won a celebratory first place with their rendition of “Monsters Inc.”
Alex Leatha and Gabe Knepper put on a remarkable performance, playing main characters Mike Wazowski and Sulley, respectively. The hallway began with the two of them sitting on a couch, watching an ad on a “TV,” which was created with a white sheet and a school projector.
They then brought the judges into the bedroom of Boo. They completed the room with details such as crayon drawings pinned to the walls and stuffed animals all over the floors. After meeting Boo, they brought her back to their apartment. Randall, an antagonist, found out that Boo was brought into Monstropolis, the Monster town, which is powered by the screams of children acquired by Monsters Inc. Then Boo, Sulley, and Mike chased Randall, played by Vivian Arnone, across a long platform on top of the locker wells. After defeating him, six dancers from the senior class performed a self-choreographed dance for the judges. They were then brought to the end of the hallway, where laugh power was used rather than scream power. Students held real doors in front of them, and popped out to ask the judges for a joke.
“It always seems to come together right at the end I think, which happened of course, so it was a little bit crazy,’ said Senior Class Co-President Emily Swinth. “But we got through it and it all came together, so that was good.”