Departments against department, a Spirit Week’s friendly competition

Rock Ridge High School departments go against one another for Homecoming Spirit Week, dressing up and going all out in hopes to win.

Kimberly Herbstritt, Copy Editor

Colleen Bianucci
English teachers Sean Heron, Tyler Anderson, Johanna Ayala-Walsh, Shelby Whittington, and Samuel McClain dress up with the theme of “Men in Black” for Space out day. McClain held out his hand to keep anyone from entering Area 51.


The 2019-20 school year’s Homecoming Spirit Week sparked yet another competition between the faculty and staff at Rock Ridge High School. Science teacher Mithra Marcus, Math teacher Christopher Schamus, History teacher Michael Shenkman, and English teacher Sean Heron share their views on spirit week.


     Q: Do you get involved in spirit week?


     A: Marcus: Absolutely. Each day that had a theme my other teachers in the department coordinated to kind have a shared theme, and I got to participate. Yesterday [I] even put glitter in my hair all day, and I really had to wash it out, so I took one for the team. It was good.

Schamus: Math is always competing very hard with English because English usually wins every year. We did get very into it as a math department this year, so I think most of our department dressed up every day this week.  

Shenkman: Our department is the best spirit week department on campus.

Heron: Mrs. Bianucci was our spirit squad leader. She took a look at what each day was and gave some suggestions on how different members of the department could join in. I really just follow her lead.


     Q: How did your department prepare for spirit week?


     A: Marcus: We usually talk about it the day before. [We] came up with a game plan so our squad day, for example, we all decided to wear pajamas to all be one. We have a shared lunch time so right at the last couple minutes of lunch we took a picture and tweeted it out. 

Schamus: Our head of our department sent out an email to everybody with all the days and exactly what we were going to do on each day. For meme day we had ideas going around on Monday and Tuesday before meme day actually happens so that people would have ideas to go off of. 

Shenkman: We do it the day before. We meet at lunch because we all eat lunch together and we talk about what we’re going to do and then we do it.

Heron: It was an email, usually at night and it would describe like, ‘Hey tomorrow is space day. Guys if you’re not sure what to do you can wear a black suit and go the Men in Black route.’


     Q: If your department could not win which one would you want to win?


     A: Marcus: I hear that World Languages has had a lot of very cool costumes and group photos. I feel like they don’t win all the time so I think them.

Schamus: Definitely not English. I would have to go with science because I thought they did very well this year and I don’t think they got rewarded for how well they did.

Shenkman: English department.

Heron: I would want none of them to win so that the English could say that we didn’t lose. 


     Q: How badly did your department want to win?


     A: Marcus: Very badly. We have lots of spirit in our department, and we have a large number of participants and we were very excited to be part of homecoming spirit week.  

Schamus: Always. I’m very competitive. We definitely want to recount if English ends up winning again. We want to figure out how they are doing the voting.  

Shenkman: I can only speak for myself that I don’t particularly care who wins. But it seems like a few people in my department are pretty motivated to win. 

Heron: We wanted it pretty bad. We’re pretty competitive.  


      Q: How did your department feel about spirit week and dressing up?


      A: Marcus: A lot of us were very much into it. We didn’t all have big and elaborate costumes, but we all participated in some way whether if it was with a crazy shirt or crazy hat or colored hair or a costume. I think generally our department enjoys participating.

Schamus: I think everybody enjoyed it, everybody went all out this year. I mean, I was in my full-on spiderman outfit and I wasn’t embarrassed from that. I think the kids and the students and the school, I think they like to see everyone dressed and it was fun.

Shenkman: Mostly it’s been good. Couple of them have been a little tricky to do, but I like it because it gives me a chance to wear jeans.

Heron: I was really impressed how many students participated. It was really cool to see kids getting involved in something that the student council was doing.


     Q: Do you have any memories from your high school’s spirit week?


     A: Marcus: I had a friend and she use to do anti-spirit week on spirit week and she would make up her own themes. But also I was in the school’s marching band and so we were part of all the homecoming games and football games and half-time shows so that’s probably where all my memories come from. 

Schamus: I remember that we had the spirit weeks. I never really went all out for the spirit days in high school like I do now.

Shenkman: I remember having them; I don’t remember what they looked like.

Heron: I don’t, honestly, we didn’t do many spirit weeks in my high school.