SOUTH WHITLEY—“We’ve got spirit, yes we do!” is the all too familiar chant for many schools across the Midwest. But to be nominated as one with the most school spirit in the country is quite an honor altogether. Whitko High School was notified Wednesday, Feb, 8, that they are one of the top five finalists among a nationwide search for “America’s Most Spirited High School.”
The competition, hosted by Varsity Brands, originated in 2016. The winning school receives $25,000, and $10,000 is awarded to the runner-up. In order to win, the school must submit an essay, a letter of recommendation, photos that depict school spirit and a video showing the way the school is the embodiment of America’s most spirited high school. 2017’s grand prize went to Broken Arrow High School from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and the award show was hosted by Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
Whitko submitted an essay by WHS 2017 alumni Kennedy Krull, and letters of recommendation were written by WHS Principal John Snyder and the President of the Pierceton Chamber of Commerce, Alicia Elder. Additionally, Nathan Haywood assisted by providing photos and a video for the school’s submission. To see the video submitted by the school and to vote for Whitko High School, site visitors can go to varsitybrands.com.
Asked to comment, WHS Principal Snyder shared, “Like the students say, ‘I love our school.’ It’s great to be in the final five, but the $25,000 would be quite impactful for a school our size.”
Whitko submitted their entry for the contest in January, and waited until Feb. 7 to discover the results and learn they were among the leaders in the competition. Now they will await the results announced on May 12 from the Orlando, Florida Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards Show held at the Walt Disney World Resort. Whitko has been invited to attend the awards show production, a round table discussion, and an awards show breakfast.
Voting for the competition began Feb. 7 and will run until Feb. 21. Until then, anyone can vote for Whitko to win. Voters can visit the site once per day and vote by submitting an e-mail along with their selection of Whitko High School’s name from among the finalists.