Leadership Finds Creative Ways to Promote School Spirit
Asher Leavy ’22
Shipley has found a way to bring the community together despite the challenges of COVID-19 protocols with a spirit event that kicked off on Monday October 19 and ended with Fantastic Friday. Instead of Super Saturday, which involves Varsity sports games and amazing food, Fantastic Friday offers social distanced activities such as a cornhole tournament and a movie night, in addition to food trucks, spirit dress week, and a raffle. Despite some changes, Fantastic Friday increased school spirit and brought the community together as Super Saturday always did.
Student government started planning in mid-September in hopes of starting Fantastic Friday in mid-October, but they faced many obstacles along the way.
“The biggest challenge was following COVID-19 regulations for a week-long event, especially social distancing and sanitization,” says All-School President Sutton Grossinger ’21. Keeping everyone safe was the top priority for Fantastic Friday, and it took a lot of planning to find fun activities that followed state guidelines. Super Saturday is hard to top, especially when you cannot have “The Swamp” cheering on Shipley’s basketball team. Nonetheless, Grossinger and Vice President Grant Williams ’21 came up with safe activities such as a cornhole tournament to keep school spirit alive despite the unprecedented year. Nobody knew what to expect, but it is safe to say that Fantastic Friday was a huge success and possibly even better than Super Saturday.
“Fantastic Friday started off as a replacement for Super Saturday, but it developed into something of itself,” says Williams. From the exceptionally decorated hallways to the Jules Thin Crust pizza food truck, everyone showed their spirit and had many opportunities to spend time together.
So many new activities such as movie night and cornhole made Fantastic Friday an event to remember, and will have a lasting effect on future events. Student government and faculty saw what worked and what didn’t, and are hoping to implement some aspects of Fantastic Friday into next year’s school events.
In a way, COVID-19 was actually a blessing in disguise, because Shipley’s student government found new ways to bring people together that would not have been implemented if not for the pandemic. Hopefully, Fantastic Friday set an example for students to be creative and put their ideas out there so that events such as this can happen more often. And although students kept six feet apart, there was still a sense of togetherness at Fantastic Friday that rejuvenated Shipley’s amazing community.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.