Soaring in More Ways Than One: School Spirit’s Impact on Student Lives

Increased Engagement in the High School Community Brings More than Cheers


Lexie Davila

Green Hope’s student section showcases their school spirit on the sidelines.

Joseph Pollard and Kareena Sohi

Every morning as students enter the doors of Green Hope, they are greeted with vibrant hues of green and maroon, mascots abound, and a smile from their fellow administrators. The atmosphere presents a strong sense of community, but where and when did this feeling of community begin? 

Between students and staff alike, the meaning of school spirit is roughly the same. The mutually agreed upon definition seems to be, “a sense of identity and pride connected to the school one attends.” However, the ways in which students display school spirit vary.

Henry Rowen (‘24), a chorus and theater student at Green Hope, participates in a number of activities and clubs. He elaborated on his show of spirit saying, “I engage in school identity and spirit in ways that are in more separate parts of the school instead of the school in its entirety.” Rowen further stated, “I show spirit in the different clubs I attend, such as Habitat for Humanity, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to be engaged with this spirit on a school-wide level.” Henry puts a strong emphasis on school traditions and events, expressing “the more opportunities kids get to show spirit—not just through Spirit Week but also through school traditions—the more a cohesive school identity is established.”

The more opportunities kids get to show spirit—not just through Spirit Week but also through school traditions—the more a cohesive school identity is established.

— Henry Rowen ('24)

Owen Zalc (‘23), kicker for Green Hope’s varsity football team, takes a more sports-based approach to school spirit. “I cheer for the team, wish them luck, and make sure they know I’m there. When you see a packed student section, you know everyone is there supporting the same school,” he said. Although he is engaged differently from Henry, Owen has a similar stance on the positive impact of spirit: “I think it unites us. You’ve got the whole school going to the football games, and cheering for the same team… it feels like people are finally liking Green Hope again.”

Many students can agree that reinforcing school pride through club-based events, sports and the like have a positive impact on the school atmosphere. Although only with slight undertones, many of the events seem to put an emphasis on identity and loyalty to the school. The annual senior parade is a demonstration of sustained spirit that lasts years and years.

Regardless of how it is celebrated, students and faculty concur on the premise of school spirit. Celebrating as a collective often leads to student success in academics as well as having a feeling of purpose.

Green Hope’s Principal, Mrs. Alison Cleveland said, “I believe that the primary purpose is to improve overall student engagement in school and to build connections with each other.”

A vast majority of other school principals see eye to eye with Cleveland. Research from VarsityBrands presents that a whopping ninety-two percent of principals agree that passionate and proud students achieve more in their educational endeavors. 

According to this same research, seventy-five percent of students with high school spirit have higher GPAs and academic achievement, besting the majority of those with low spirit. Additionally, students with increased engagement in school events and activities are 33% more likely to pursue at least a four-year degree.

With every cheer of the crowd at Green Hope’s football games, with every car coming up to be judged at the senior parade, and with every pajama day during Spirit Week, the student populace is becoming more and more likely to improve their performance in the academic realm.