English department dominates spirit week


English teachers Allison Whitehouse, William Combs and RachelClaire Cockrell dress up for Tiger King Day as part of the 2021 Spirit Week.

Dressing up for spirit week is an essential part of the high school experience for students, like Abby Loethen and Phoebe Harris, and it’s essential for the English department too. English teachers, like Amy Martfeld, go all out every year.

“Ever since I’ve been here,” Martfeld said, “the English department has dominated spirit week.”

This year’s fall spirit week themes were colors day (different colors based on grade), holiday (dress up as any holiday or a combination of holidays), international (dress according to the nation you identify with) , character (movie, TV, or book), and safari (animal print or Tiger King inspired). For safari day, English teachers William Combs and Rachel Cockrell dressed up as Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic from Netflix’s Tiger King

“My favorite costume was probably my Carole Baskin outfit,” Cockrell said, “Because Dr. Combs was dressed up as Joe Exotic and that made it the best.”

Senior Abby Loethen, loved seeing Combs dressed up in fun outfits, especially the Mardi Gras costume he wore for holiday day. 

“I liked the holiday outfit, “ Loethen said. “I thought that it was original.”

Combs agrees with Loethen; the Mardi Gras outfit was one of his favorites. 

“I liked it, in part, because it’s really colorful,” Combs said. “And I didn’t see anyone else doing that holiday.”

Seeing teachers dress up produces varied reactions from students. Some students, including Loethen, love it because it makes class more fun. 

“It makes the class’s energy feel much more uplifting,” Loethen said. “The learning environment is a lot more fun.”

Martfeld’s students didn’t have quite as enthusiastic of a reaction as Loethen. 

“I didn’t really get compliments as much as giggles, snarks, and eye rolls,” Martfeld said. 

Despite the lack of enthusiasm and the negative reactions from some students, the English teachers have good intentions when it comes to dressing up for spirit week.

“We do it to try to encourage students to participate,” Combs said. 

Junior Phoebe Harris feels like teachers participating in spirit week inspired her and other students to participate too. 

“When Mrs. Cockrell dresses up, it encourages kids to get in the spirit of spirit week,” Harris said. “It gives me confidence to dress like I want to dress.”