At Kittatinny Regional High School's first pep rally last Friday, not only did 7th and 9th graders compete in a relay that incorporates all of the fall sports, a team consisting of teachers and coaches also competed. Marching bands played, cheerleaders pumped up the crowd, and classes competed to make the most noise.
“Our annual fall pep rally has become such a wonderful tradition at Kittatinny,” said Brian Bosworth, the school's Principal. “It has grown each year and the students and staff really embrace the entire event. The pep rally brings all six grades together to celebrate not only the school but the entire Kittatinny community. It sets the tone for the school year and celebrates our students and their accomplishments.
“There is no one person really 'in charge' of the pep rally,” said teacher and cheerleading coach, Sam Lupo. “It is an event that takes a life of its own. I have personally been involved in planning and organizing for close to ten years as a staff member and was involved when I was a KRHS student as well.”
The Pep Rally is the welcoming overture to the school's Week of Lights. The Kittatinny Cougar Athletic Association, headed by Steve Russel, fund raises to bring lights to the football field area.
“Volunteers set up the lights on Saturday and then the week features a different sport each evening with field hockey on Monday (wearing pink), girls' soccer on Tuesday (wearing red, white and blue), boys' soccer on Thursday (wearing white) and capping off with football on Friday (wearing blue)," said Athletic Director, Chris Carroll.
Keeping our pep rally consistent has helped to establish traditions at the school.
“Our Pep Rally set the tone for how we want our year to run,” Lupo said.
New his year was a competition for the staff member with the most spirited clothing.
“The staff was given the challenge to deck themselves out in the most school spirited clothing for the entire day on Friday,” Lupo said.
Finalists were selected during the day the winner was music teacher, Alexandra Straulina who not only dressed up but went around the school playing a tune on a massive tuba.
“ I think the pep rally shows all of our students that they are constantly supported by the school and the community,” Bosworth said. “Most of the hard work in the classroom or on the practice fields is done behind the scenes and the pep rally gives us an opportunity to showcase their hard work. They feed off this energy.”
Superintendent Craig Hutcheson eagerly welcomes the annual rally.
“It is essential that we have days like this,” he said. “It brings the student body together and shows them the importance of school spirit in addition to their studies.”
Planning the rally involves a lot of work and a lot of staff.
“The biggest challenge is getting people to commit to putting themselves out in front of the entire school,” Lupo said. “When we began this format a few years ago we had a lot of hesitation but now we have kids asking to be on relay teams. The biggest reward is watch how this event has grown over the years. We like to kick off our year with energy, enthusiasm and spirit and this event sure does that.”
“We really have a family atmosphere at Kittatinny, with some of our teachers also being alumni,” Bosworth said. “They show their spirit - and their old varsity jackets – which really enhances the experience for everyone.”