Leadership plans Homecoming week

What to expect and look forward to leading up to the first Homecoming since 2019

McLean High School’s Leadership class has been preparing for Homecoming with spirit week and other activities.
“Starting on Monday, and then all week long, each day has a spirit wear theme,” said Leadership teacher Karen McNamara, who is in charge of Homecoming and Spirit Week.
The spirit weekdays are named after an attire theme. “Sleepy Monday ” starts off the week, encouraging students to wear pajamas to school. Jungle Tuesday follows, then “Hawaiian Wednesday,” then “Hippie Day” on Thursday. Lastly, Friday’s attire is class colors: gray for freshmen, white for sophomores, black for juniors, and red for seniors. School days themselves will also be filled with interesting activities.
“During every single day, next week, there will also be lunch games; just the thing to build some community spirit,” McNamara said. “This will be happening in the cafeteria during all lunches.”
Additionally, McLean’s annual bonfire will be taking place this year on Tuesday after school on the softball field.
“It’s a fun, hang-out experience for those…who have never been,” McNamara said. “There will be some s’mores fixings but I can’t guarantee depending on the crowd that there’ll be enough s’mores for everybody at the bonfire.”
Thursday after school is the junior-senior flag football game, also known as “Powderpuff.” For the Leadership team, planning this event has also been one of the biggest hurdles.
“Because we have to have the girls get forms, get physicals, return them, get in three practices and try to order shirts, all in a matter of about three weeks, it’s just tough because there’s not a lot of time to do that,” McNamara said. “Unfortunately, [students] don’t know this yet, but their jerseys for the juniors cannot be delivered in time.”
Seniors, however, will still get all of their shirts on time. Friday ends the Homecoming preparation with the most popular events
“Friday is the pep rally, and we’ve got the car decorating competition, which will lead into our first-ever parade, hopefully,” McNamara said. “And then we’ve got a tailgate, which will lead into the game Friday night.”
As always, the tickets for the game will be $5. All of these events make Friday one of the most exciting and event-filled days of the year. Clubs, honor societies, and sports teams are all eligible to participate in the parade and can get more information by asking Karen McNamara.
“As of now, we have mainly been planning everything for Homecoming and the upcoming pep rally,” said senior and Leadership student Cheryn Hong. “We are currently practicing our script for the pep rally and running it as well as planning out all the decorations we are doing for the dance.”
Establishing the first-ever parade and tailgate has also presented its own set of challenges that the leadership class had to work through.
“Getting all the logistics down for the new car decorating contest my group planned for this year [has been difficult], such as how we will be able to reserve parking spots for the decorated cars and when and how we would be able to have the cars drive around to show off their decorations,” Hong said. “We were able to figure out and establish everything by discussing it with administrators as well as talking with Dr. Reilly.”
Finally, Homecoming will be held on Saturday. The Leadership class found this year to be especially difficult, as many students and teachers are new to planning it.
“The biggest challenge, of course, is COVID, and for a couple of reasons,” new Leadership teacher Cameron Keuning said. “For starters, with the exception of Ms. McNamara, all of us in Leadership, myself and students, are really planning our first Homecoming, as we didn’t have one last year.”
Taking pandemic-related risks into account has been an important sticking point for the class, too.
“The event is planned for outside, but the weather is always an issue,” Keuning said. “We’ve had to consider what we might do in the event of bad weather, and how, if we have a dance inside, we can make it as safe as possible.”
Tickets for Homecoming are currently on sale for $20 and are only available on MySchoolBucks.
“If you don’t want to wait in line to show your receipt at the door, you can come to my classroom B175 and pick up a physical ticket; that’s like your Fastpass entry,” McNamara said. “If you show that ticket, you get to walk right in. Otherwise, you have to wait for your name to be checked off the list.”
Students will also be able to bring guests from other schools as long as they fill out the form that is available on MySchoolBucks or in the main office. McLean students will also need to purchase an additional ticket for their guests as they do not have access to them.
As students get reacclimated with the in-person environment, both Leadership teachers hope all students will take advantage of this year’s activities.
“Make your high school experience something to be proud of, something that you will smile when thinking about in the future,” said Keuning.
Keuning hopes students remember to have fun in high school this year, even with all the challenges a swift transition to in-person learning poses.
“Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. [From the “Aenid”], it means, ‘perhaps, someday, it might even be pleasing to remember these things,’” said Keuning. “I know that high school can be really, really difficult sometimes, but when you can, make positive memories for yourself, so that you don’t only reflect back on the challenges, but on the successes.”