True Colors Revealed: What’s Changing With Class Spirit

Julia Tobin, Editor

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I just think that we all did a really nice job of compromising.”

— Leah Popovic

Class colors have changed. However, this change was not in the way that most would think.

Students at NKHS are used to the four colors (green, blue, red, and black/gold) being representative of each class (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors). Whether or not the class colors will cease to exist has been an ongoing debate for nearly a decade between administration and students.

The Junior Class Executive Board has been able to strike a compromise with administration in order to prevent the class colors being revoked entirely and to satisfy both the student body as well as the NKHS administration.

Mrs. Lisa Garcia, a math teacher and adviser of the junior Executive Board, stressed that the main goal was to improve on last year’s homecoming, which is the current junior class goal as well.

However, she said that another goal the administration, Dr. Denise Mancieri, and other teachers have had is “to progress the pep rallies and other spirit week activities, into something that faculty will engage in, and all the students will engage in and be safe.”

“We started to work on homecoming…and initially the first thing that came up was class colors, where the advisors were hoping to move away from it.”

Garcia confirmed that work on homecoming had begun that week, and a priority for the staff was class colors. She also admitted that the administration been hoping to move away from it last year to bring a stronger culture of unity to NKHS. However, Dr. Mancieri had worried that along with moving the pep rally outside, the change for the seniors would be too much to handle.

“So the discussion was ‘we’re going to try to change some things for the pep rally’ and they did a lot of things differently-how they dismiss the students, where it was, and we just tried to re-organize some things, with keeping into the spirit of what the students want,” Garcia said.

As expected, the administration received complaints from the students when class colors were rumored to be taken away. Spirit week has been a catalyst to problems between the NKHS community before.

“Even though we don’t think class colors is the catalyst for students making bad decisions, we knew that we would love to have it where it’s a more unified school,” said Garcia, “We are hoping it will be more like a college homecoming. It used to be all brown and yellow outside stadium when I was first here. And we’ve slowly worked the changes of the gold and brown and then gold and black. And then we had to go inside when the construction started to build, so the students were mad that we had to move the pep rally inside and they argued and protested and wrote petitions, so it’s all coming full circle.”

The goal for the administration this year has been to unify the student body and to focus on the rivalry between schools, not classes. Mrs. Garcia said, “We are looking to have more camaraderie, we would love it if the catalyst for all of our angst was the opposing team that we are playing at the football game versus the freshmen.”

Leah Popovic went into further detail; “Because at the pep rally, people are there to bash the freshmen when really, if we are going to do any bashing at all, it should be against the team that we’re playing for the homecoming football game because that’s the whole reason for homecoming.”

The outcome of this year’s class colors dilemma has been a controversial one . Mrs. Garcia goes into more detail about spirit week, “As of right now, as of forever; this year, the class colors date is going to be the Wednesday, dress-up day, of the powderpuff game, and we’re hoping that all the reds and greens and blues will come to support those colors on the field and the seniors will wear the black and gold only on that day. On the Friday of the pep rally, we are going to sell, we’re not sure what, but it’s going to be a white, like a grey, t shirt for the underclassmen to wear.”

Meanwhile, seniors will have the option to buy their own black and gold class T-shirts on Friday, designed by a senior themselves.

”We are going to sell senior-designed, specifically for the seniors, that will be a black t-shirt with gold on it, and it’s going to have every senior’s name on it and it’s going to have a senior-decided design that’s only for seniors and it’s going to say “seniors” and it’s going to have their graduation year. They’re the only class that’s going to have that particular thing. ” said Mrs. Garcia. “And that’s something all seniors will look forward to and all seniors will be awarded with in their fourth year,” said Popovic.    

In addition, the shirts will contribute to discounts and encourage participation as well. Popovic said, The shirts that you buy are not only supporting your class, so it’s worth the money, but later, those shirts can get you into sporting events for a free or discounted rate.”

Mr. Sutton, a history teacher at NKHS, added an additional opinion to the dilemma, “I like the idea that each class has its own color, and its a progression of earning your way up the scale to being a senior.” Sutton said.

“They’re still having a class color day, but it doesn’t seem as, not quite the same impact as that last day” Sutton said. “I talked to my daughter about it, who just graduated, and she’s completely against the idea. She liked having the green and she could tell who else was in her class, and that she got to wear a different color next year, and so forth.”

Sutton went into more detail about his standpoint on class colors, saying “I think that there was more of a problem with individual students not being able to treat other people with respect and that the response was rather than deal with those individual students was just to make everybody the same.”

Mrs. Graham, a Physical Education teacher at North Kingstown High school, shared her thoughts about the response to this change, and how spirit week was handled.

“I think the events went smoother. I’m not sure if class colors had something to do with it or just everyone was ready for a change themselves”

“It didn’t seem so heavily one group against the other, it seemed very spirited”

Graham also commented about whether the change should continue in future years, “I would like to see this continue, and I really enjoyed the way they did it. I would love to see maybe a few more underclassmen embracing the white and gold. I think it was a learning curve this year.”

In the end, with the potential of class colors being removed completely, the junior class executive board and administration believe they have satisfied the complaints of the student body.

As Popovic said, this compromise helps both administration and students participate and  focuses on the journey of becoming a senior. “I just think we all did a really nice job of compromising.”

Popovic said, “At the end of the day, the students are getting what they want…I think it’s an amazing compromise that will make a profit for the classes and also we still have a designated day when we can wear our colors and look forward to being a senior and that’s really what it’s all about-getting through to being a senior in your fourth year.”

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