Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — Homecoming week is in full swing as the Panthers gear up for the big game Friday night and it is hard to decide who has more school spirit, the students or the staff.
Keeping with tradition, Mt. Pleasant High School launched homecoming week with a pep rally at the high school.
Students, dressed in their best Adam Sandler get-ups, filled the gym with roars of school pride.
The cheerleaders pumped up their fellow students with a cheer routine full of gravity defying stunts.
The award-winning marching band performed in front of larger-than-life class banners designed by each grade.
Freshmen decorated their banner with flames to convey the theme of “Freshmen on Fire.”
Sophomores took a sweet approach as they named themselves “Sophsmores” and covered their banner with drawings of s'mores and campfires.
Juniors took their individuality seriously with an alien proclaiming their class was “Out of this World.”
The Senior class took the opportunity to assert upperclassman dominion with a banner containing the slogan “Eat Freshmen” under a cleverly designed Seniors logo that looked incredibly similar to the Subway logo.
Even with so much student led school spirit, Mt. Pleasant Community Schools Staff gave them a run for their money.
At the very same pep rally, Science Teacher Mike Peterson, Superintendent John Henriksen, Middle School Band Director Adam Creager, and High School Band Director Jim DePriest showed their school spirit in a unique way.
According to Creager, the band’s bass player, this is not the first time these four have gotten together to jam.
“The band formed years ago when Mr. Henriksen was the principal at the high school in the early 2000s,” Creager said. “It started as a homecoming skit and like the Blues Brothers say, we put the band back together for another show!”
While Creager is not an original band member, he enjoys being a part of it.
“I had a great time playing with the group and was honored to be asked,” he said.
“We all have a little musical talent, so it works out,” Henriksen said.
According to Creager, however, Henriksen is downplaying the bands abilities.
“Mike Peterson has a band of his own he performs with,” Creager said. “John Henriksen performs at his church, and Jim and I teach band.”
“We all love performing and it's always fun to see the faculty play for the students to pump them up for the week ahead,” he said. “It really just helps build school spirit!”
This particular performance was initiated by the lead guitarist and vocalist Mike Peterson to honor keyboardist, DePriest’s last year.
“Mr. Peterson connected it to the homecoming game,” Henriksen said.
“You guys just need to go out there and take care of business,” Peterson encouraged the students.
Peterson took his role as a hype-man seriously and wove throughout the stands with a mic giving students the opportunity to sing along as the band performed “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
These four men were not alone in their school spirit inspired shenanigans.
The Mt. Pleasant Community School Districts are gearing up for a great homecoming with dress up days and enthusiastic staff.
Lincoln Elementary had a number of characters show up Monday for Character Day.
Harlan Elementary invites students to join in the school spirit festivities with the a Harlan Elementary homecoming parade float.
Those students wishing to participate are asked to meet at the middle school at 2:15 and candy donations are appreciated.
It may not be abundantly clear if staff or students have more Panther pride this homecoming season, but Friday’s big game still remains for both to showcase their ultimate school spirit for the year.