Spirit Week is what most people typically think of for sports, but in these uncertain times for students, but one Bloom Vernon’s high school teacher felt she needed to get the students’ spirit up by hosting spirit week.
Kristie Johnson is a teacher who is known by her students that is not afraid to do things away from the norm. With her creative attitude, the teacher put a plan in place to start a spirit week online and Ryan Donini, the school’s webmaster and band teacher was all in.
“Kristie is the heart and soul of our school spirit,” Donini said.
Donini spoke on how this week was set up and how he, as the webmaster, helped her make spirit week online happen.
“Spirit Week was a project from Kristie Johnson, who chose a theme for each day of the week. She would send me the first picture of the day, a picture of herself. She wanted the students to send me pictures to post on our district Facebook account and show each of them in the theme for the day,” Donini said. “A community member asked if we would open it up to everyone in our community and Kristie, of course, said yes and I agreed wholeheartedly. I have received multiple photos from many people, including teachers, students and community members. I am just the guy behind the curtain, making sure the machine works.”
Johnson chose the theme for each day with a theme and connection:
Monday-Super Hero Day. (In honor of all the health care, first responders, grocery employees and other essential workers.)
Tuesday-Crazy Hair and School Colors. (In honor of our hairdressers and the school missed.)
Wednesday-Dress like an old person day (In honor of the generation most at risk.)
Thursday-Jersey Day (In honor of the teams missed playing.)
Friday-PJ Day (Because that is the one true positive of this…going to school in your PJs.)
Johnson said of the original plan and said that one of her cousins down in Florida shared an idea that a school was doing down there, so she said she couldn’t take claim that it was her idea she just said she piggybacked off them and went with it.
“Before I even took to the webmaster, I talked with our Renaissance Group and they liked it and we decided to go with it and open it up with the whole community,” Johnson said. “Depending on the day, we had some great, some days not so much, but I’m proud of the way it turned out. We did it to give people other things to look at and talk about.”
Johnson shared they are already thinking of other things than can do so that everyone can look forward to that.
Johnson spoke especially about the high school students and how all of this has been affecting them.
“I worry about them because, in high school, you get a little bit of freedom and especially when you get your license, you can get out there and see your friends and you become more social,” Johnson said. “Of course, our seniors, my heart is breaking for our seniors, I’m hoping we can just postpone prom and graduation and just have some things for those kids, our prom is a big deal for South Webster and just have that last ‘Chabang’ for them. I know it’s got to be so hard for them to stay home and not be connected with their friends as much as they’d like to be. Hopefully, this will at least get a smile on their faces.”
Johnson talked about the daily photos she posted of herself to go with the themes and how that she doesn’t mind doing these crazy things to make them smile and there are a lot of teachers at Bloom Vernon that are willing to make fools of themselves for their students.
Johnson also touched on how things are going as far as teaching.
“Hard, I teach Chemistry, Physics, and Science and it’s hard to teach those upper-level courses without being face to face with those kids,” Johnson said. “We’ve got kids that don’t have internet, we’re sending hard copies on our bus routes to get to them and then they come back, and we let them sit for days in case someone is contagious. So I’m getting some work back two weeks after we’ve done it it’s just hard to juggle, but we’re going to make it and we’re going to do the best we can with what we got and do what’s best for our kids.”
Donini said, “The community reaction has been awesome, and I am very happy that we can bring our small but mighty community together in even the toughest time. It has been a great week.”
Johnson added, “I just want to thank the teachers for stepping up and doing a great job.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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