Building Grey Wolf Spirit

Students purchased tape strips to attach their principal to a wall.
By: Todd Martin
Call it building cohesion.
During Shoemaker High School’s two lunch periods Friday, students and staff members shelled out dollars and coins to purchase strips of tape to attach Principal Micah Wells to the cafeteria wall.
What began with an announcement at the start of the first lunch in the bustling cafeteria, first brought curiosity and a single $1-paying customer. Next, another student and then a few more joined the taping.
Before long, students began posing for selfies with their taped-up principal.
The Friday of Shoemaker’s homecoming week reflected something of a revival of school spirit in the home of the Grey Wolves.
It started, Wells said, when a group of student council leaders met with campus administrators at the start of the school year and requested support in building more school spirit.
The second-year Shoemaker principal was all for it and the renewal is starting to show.
Student Council President India Morgan and Vice President Cherith Hicks, at the forefront of selling duct tape strips Friday, agreed the excitement is building.
“We’re raising school spirit and also funds for student council,” Morgan said, explaining the taping activity.
With campus administrators’ blessing, the council has taken on leading the school’s pep rallies in addition to its usual responsibilities of organizing events like the homecoming dance this weekend and providing venue for students’ voices to be heard.
“We want to make it easy for everyone to be involved,” Morgan said. More pep rallies provide opportunity to celebrate student groups beyond varsity sports, for example.
“I’m impressed,” she said of the excitement that grew in the corner of the cafeteria. “I’m happy to see everyone participating.”
The two student leaders praised their principal for his fast support for their ideas, though they said they weren’t surprised. “He’s basically a big kid like us,” Morgan said of Wells.
“They challenged me at the beginning of the school year to get more involved,” Wells said, speaking from his perch on the wall. “I wanted them to devise things they wanted to do to get students excited and to build school spirit.”
He pointed out that it wasn’t just athletes and organization leaders purchasing tape, it was everyone. “That’s what I love to see,” he said.
“The students have risen to the occasion,” said Hicks, noting that more students than usual took part in dress-up days and other activities during homecoming.
“Mr. Wells is great. He’s the best principal I’ve ever had,” she said. “He supports us and he helps us fix what we need to fix so that he can support us. He’s given up both lunches for us today.”
Later in the day, during the homecoming pep rally, assistant principals would take their turn receiving pies in the face.