For some school leaders across the state of Iowa, homecoming can be one of the most stressful weeks of the school year. Schedules and routines are off, and sometimes there is an increase in discipline infractions. Luckily for us at Nevada High School, that was not the case! Homecoming 2017 was a memorable week for all of the right reasons, and I am proud of the way our students handled themselves, both in and out of school.
The week started off Sunday night with students decorating business windows in downtown Nevada and the hallways of the Nevada High School. As I entered the building Monday morning, I could feel the excitement in the air, and it was great to see school pride hovering in our halls. The students did an amazing job and the tone for a great week was set.
Each day of the week had a different theme, encouraging the students and faculty/staff to dress accordingly. Monday was “Color Day.” Each class dressed in a different color, while the faculty/staff were decked out in their best Hawaiian attire. Tuesday was “Tacky Tourist Day,” Wednesday was “Walt Disney Day,” Thursday was “Fake an Injury Day,” and Friday was “Purple and Gold Spirit Day.” I was amazed at the creativity our students demonstrated in coming up with their unique, yet appropriate, attire for each day.
Thursdays of homecoming week are always exciting and this year did not disappoint. The homecoming parade started at 6:15 p.m., showcasing our students and their involvement in various activities and, of course, the convertible entries honoring the homecoming king and queen candidates and our Grand Marshal, Mrs. Jane Rewerts. A big THANK YOU to the Nevada community…it was great to see the community support the parade so enthusiastically.
Following the parade was the coronation of our king and queen in the high school gym. Luke Fevold was crowned homecoming king and Logan Stufflebeam was crowned the homecoming queen. Preston Cattanach, Luke Merfeld, Omunique Wilkerson and Matthew Chitty were our other king candidates and Abbie Lindsey, Madeleine Humpal-Pash, Mackenzie Garrett and Catelynn Adelmund joined Logan as the queen candidates. Thursday evening concluded with the annual dodgeball tournament, where once again the senior boys were proclaimed the champions for the third straight year, while the stylish mom’s and dad’s teams stole the show!
Friday is always an exciting day, and the highlight had to be the district-wide assembly. Due to the excessive heat, the pep assembly was moved to the high school gym, and I must admit it was one of the loudest pep assembly environments I have ever attended. Somehow, some way, we fit all the elementary, middle school and high school students into the stands as they screamed, yelled and cheered for the Cubs! It was exciting to have all levels of students interact together, though this was not their first meeting of the week. Our volleyball and cross country teams — joined by our flag line members, cheerleaders and football players — all spent time at Central Elementary during breakfast, lunch and recess on both Thursday and Friday. I am not sure who had more fun, the elementary students or the high school students! One things is for sure: Nevada Cub Pride is alive and well in not only the high school but also at the middle school and Central Elementary.
Friday concluded with the homecoming football game against North Polk. Although we did not come out with a W, the team fought till the end, continuing to make improvements week to week. The marching band rocked its halftime show, while the fireworks display was one to remember. We had a great crowd. It was fun to see so many students, parents and alumni in the stands.
The week also produced other successes: our volleyball team defeated Greene County on Sept. 19 and followed that up with a strong performance at our home volleyball tournament on Sept. 23. Our the cross country teams had a great showing at the Newton meet on Sept. 19, with Malachi Hornbuckle winning first place in the boys meet. The cross country teams also put on a great performance on Sept. 26 at our home meet, with Malachi once again claiming first place and setting a new school record with a time of 16:22.10.
The week concluded with the homecoming dance in the high school commons. It was awesome seeing so many students participating. When it was all said and done, over 400 students attended the 2017 homecoming dance! It was a fitting end to a great week!
As you can see, Homecoming 2017 was a week full of excitement and daily reminders of how lucky we are to work with our students on a daily basis. I personally am privileged to work with a faculty/staff that support all of the “distractions” homecoming week presents. I have the privilege to lead a student body that follows instructions and is respectful in their words and actions. And last, but not least, I am privileged to work with parents and a community who support their youth. Thank you to everyone who made this week a memorable experience for our students. I especially want to thank Greg Baethke, Heidi Grimm, Kirsten Weber, Dustin Smith, Vawn Thiphasouk, Kristin Wakeman, Lori Arends, Jeff Baker, Elizabeth Gindt and our student council members, all who went above and beyond to make this year’s homecoming week a complete success. Unlike some principals across the state, I can’t wait for Homecoming 2018! GO CUBS!
Kody Asmus is prinicipal at Nevada High School.