There has been something special about this week in our community: homecoming. That time of the year, the one week in the school year that feels a little different than the rest. Up and down the hallways, the talk in the halls has been a little louder, a little more excitable. Chatter about the game, the parade, and of course the homecoming dance on Saturday evening. And this week, more than any other week, our hearts and minds are overflowing with school spirit.

For the high school, the school spirit included themed dress up days and abundance of red and black throughout building. It means team and camaraderie. It’s hard work and perseverance and leaving it all on the court or field. It’s excelling in the classroom, pushing themselves to try a new field of study or extracurricular activity. It is a feeling of pride for their school and the understanding of what it means to be a Cardinal. Many students have spent weeks in advance to begin dreaming in to their homecoming float, proudly displayed on the square in downtown Newton Thursday evening.

While the homecoming festivities tend to focus on the high school, it has still been fun and games for the elementary and middle school students, perhaps that when the school spirit begins to manifest the most. From my perspective, I’ve always enjoyed seeing the young students exhibiting their enthusiasm for our sports team and seeing their school spirit come alive during homecoming week. When we moved to Newton five years ago and our kids were those young students. And undoubtedly some of you reading this article have a memory or two of the first time you took part in homecoming week as elementary student and knew one day it’d be you on the sidelines, in the stands, or on H.A. Lynn Field donned in red and black.

For a community of 15,000 people, homecoming is a tradition. And the more close-knit our community, the more you can feel the spirit of homecoming – that school spirit – throughout the community. Yes, it’s more than a Friday night football game or a homecoming parade. Homecoming week also embodies the values and a town coming together, despite our differences. It’s being proud of the community’s roots, it’s history, and looking forward to a future full of progress, overflowing with school spirit. 

That ‘school spirit’ has another name in our district: Red Pride. Red Pride has grown throughout our student body to levels that give me chills. Red Pride has been instilled in our students through their actions, their efforts in the classroom, and excellence in performing together as a team, be it on the stage or field. And most importantly, Red Pride has been modeled and exemplified by our educational leaders, classroom instructors, and support team. And there’s no better time to recognize all of the Red Pride that brings our school – and our community – together as one than during Homecoming Week. Red Pride Lives Here.