By Alizay Rodriguez and Elizabeth Loera

Over recent years, Umatilla High School students and staff have noticed a vast decrease of school spirit. Less blue. Less orange. The mood in the halls is grey.

Why are students less energetic? When did Eeyore enroll at UHS?

One could say they’re teens, it’s a stage.

“We are only strong as our whole school,“ said UHS Dean of Students April Dirksen. “Attendance has improved dramatically, around last year only 40 percent of students arrived to school, and now data pulls in about 73 percent of students”.

Mrs. Dirksen agrees with the fact that school spirit is rising from it’s ashes anew. Her main motto is to “make everything fun, and competitive to get students on their feet.”

Umatilla High’s Office Manager has seen the start of school a few times. “Assemblies helped kick off better school spirit. I think actually having the staff being all excited about things will help get the kids be excited too,” Mrs. Debbie Tesch said.  

ASB President Steven Ebker and freshman Vice President Yarectzy Carrillo eagerly agreed with the fact that Viking spirit has been in a trance in the past and change needed to be done ASAP by the ASB.

“This year we had more assemblies, I think that was a very good move to bring out spirit.“ said Carrillo.

“I wouldn’t say school spirit is fantastic or terrible but it’s been improving ever since my Freshman year,” Ebker, a UHS senior, said. “Because of the fact that ASB is now a class period, we have more time to plan and organize events, and do what is best to find lost spirit.”

Carrillo, on the other hand said “I think it’s fantastic, because freshman have won cheering competitions this year which is a surprise because seniors usually win them and it shows that the new generation of high schoolers are improving.”

In the past, an assembly might see students become agitated and obnoxious, creating chaos in the stands rather than exerting positive vibes and school spirit.

In her first year, Mrs. Dirksen has seen this school’s spirit when it was lacking but thinks things are turning a corner. “ The barrier of spirit has been overpassed somewhat within these recent assemblies, and more and more kids will know that it’s okay to be a little dorky at times, to demonstrate yourself in other people’s eyes,“ stated Mrs. Dirksen.

During the next assembly, the ASB leaders said, stand up and cheer your hearts out for the good of the school.  Umatilla Highs 2016 Spirit week was by far the best this school has seen for years.

“I think it’s pretty darn good I was highly impressed with our assemblies, and I know that every time they’ll improve,” Mrs. Dirksen said.

School spirit really depends on the degree of effort the entire school has. Maybe all students need a shirt that reads “I bleed orange and blue” just like Mrs. Dirksen.