How Palatine High School’s first pep assembly means a new start for the community

The pep assembly at Palatine High School began with a few words from one of the school’s student supervisors (Mckenna Smith 2022).

Ishika Mishra and Steven Keferlis

Crowds of students roar as school mascot Pirate Pete makes his first appearance alongside staff. The Palatine High school community properly enjoyed the year’s first pep assembly on Aug. 12, 2022.

“I’m kind of just looking forward to finally having another normal assembly since we haven’t had one since our freshman year,” varsity poms member Jenna Perkovich said.

Due to the pandemic, freshmen to seniors have not gotten the full opportunity to experience pirate pride. 

“I think with COVID and stuff like that we lost some of our way, but we’re learning how to live our life again,” wellness instructor Shannon Krywanio said. “That’s what MyPalatine is about.”

PHS’ new initiative MyPalatine was referenced heavily at the pep assembly. It encourages each student to make the palatine experience their own. Speakers at the assembly explained the activities and programs they are a part of, showing how there is room for MyPalatine for everyone.

“Our main goal is just to let the incoming freshmen…know just what the school spirit is like here,” senior Sam Millstone, co-leader of Red Ryders said. “Just give them a taste of what to expect for the further later years in high school.”

The Red Ryders are a school spirit group that are mostly seen at football and boys basketball games. With signs, music, themes and activities hype up the crowd to show how unified palatine can be. 

“There’s a lot of new things happening and I encourage kids to be excited about it and get involved,” student supervisor Debbie Murphy said. “High School is very important and it goes by very fast.”

The performance of the band, color guard, poms, and staff exhibited the myriad of options for extracurricular involvement. 

“I’m…mostly excited to see everybody all together back again. I’m a big screamer. I love getting everyone hyped up,” varsity poms member Lauren Ovcina said.

This pep assembly was the first chance for the entire school to be pirates together.

“For the upperclassmen, just give them a great last few years of high school and just keep this school spirit up,” Millstone said.

The purpose of the pep assembly is to remind every student to be prideful of their PHS community, whichever way students feel they can do that best. School spirit may be the best approach to recovering from challenging times.