McNicholas has had numerous successful pep rallies, but lately, students haven’t been getting as much ‘pep’ out of the pep rallies. Luckily, this can be fixed easily. While there are many factors that lead to a successful pep rally, the key component of a good pep rally is student participation.
One way to incorporate student involvement into pep rallies is having a student MC, or “Master of Ceremonies.” This is the person who makes announcements and introductions during the pep rally.
“I prefer having a student MC because it makes it more personal,” sophomore Kristen Rehl said.
Performances also get the students excited. The Dance Team has performed their hip hop routine at two of the pep rallies this school year, featured in the video below. Students also enjoyed when members of the McNicholas band put on a glow-in-the-dark lights show at a pep rally this year.
“It was pitch black and there were cool lights,” freshman Joe Paquette recalled.
The spring musical cast of The Wizard of Oz performed a scene from the show at the most recent pep rally, also featured below.
Videos, such as the Rocket Report videos and student-made music videos, are also a sensation at pep rallies, including the music video remake of the song “Vuela, Vuela” by seniors Ed Allgier, Jack Castleman, Ryan Coldiron, Daniel Cole, Luke Eveler, and Aaron Vennemeyer for Spanish class presented at the pep rally on April 13.
Perhaps McNicholas should bring back their tradition of spontaneous games for students. Games, along with performances, have been a successful part of other local high school’s pep rallies as well.
Anderson High School sophomore Jen Kasanicky said of Anderson’s pep rallies,“We only have a few pep rallies, but the ones we do have usually have a few games involving both students and staff. Most of the games involve the different grades competing and it’s always exciting when a grade other than the seniors wins. We have other things too, like music from our Battle of the Bands winner, our Dance Team preforming and our cheerleaders getting the whole school involved in cheers. I think the staff and students who run our pep rallies make it as fun as possible for us.”
Although not all students want to be picked for surprise games or trivia contests that have been done in the past, freshman Ericka Kaimer wishes she would be picked during a pep rally.
“You’ve got to be embarrassed at some point in your life,” Kaimer reasoned.
New ideas could be introduced to benefit pep rallies as well. McNicholas could base student activities off of popular television shows. For example, students could be randomly selected to sing a song, while four teachers would sit facing away from the students singing. If the teachers wanted to let the student advance in the competition, they would turn around in their chair, like the show “The Voice.” Survival activities from the show “Survivor” like crawling under tables and untying ropes could make a regular relay race more interesting.
Junior Mark Boehm, who transferred from St. Xavier High School, prefers McNicholas pep rallies to St. Xavier pep rallies.
“[McNicholas pep rallies] are a lot more general. They’re not only about sports,” Boehm said. Boehm likes that McNicholas pep rallies focus on other events that are happening around the school as well, such as the musical. McNicholas’ pep rallies recognize all students, from athletes to performers.
As someone who has organized pep rallies in the past, assistant football coach and teacher Steve Klonne knows how important student participation is. “The more students are involved, like in a skit or spectacular lights show, the better,” Klonne said.