Spirited Beginnings

New principal Blake Bennett participates in her first spirit week

New+principal+Blake+Bennett+dresses+in+90%E2%80%99s+fashion+for+Generation+Day+of+Spirit+Week.

Lexi Critchett

New principal Blake Bennett dresses in 90’s fashion for Generation Day of Spirit Week.

Principal Blake Bennett had an unusual first day on the job. It’s not everyday that you walk onto a high school campus and see students sporting a mixture of leg warmers, gogo boots, and poodle skirts. Ms. Bennett met quite possibly the most chaotic week of the year on her first day as principal: Spirit Week. 

“Everybody … put so much time and energy into making it fun,” Ms. Bennett said. “I thought ‘Wow, what a great week to start as principal.’”

Anyone who has participated in Spirit Week knows it’s a bit different than a typical high school spirit week. Ms. Bennett, however, had no problem assimilating to the culture. 

“I made sure to meet with some of the students in SGA, and I said ‘What can I do as your new principal [for spirit week]?’” Ms. Bennett said. “I made sure that I was participating every day, and I love that kind of stuff, I think it’s fun. I loved how the whole campus seemed to participate.”

Students also picked up on Ms. Bennett’s enthusiasm during the week as they saw her dress up in the themes and mingle with students. 

“Every interaction with her has gone well,” theatre senior Chris Hesse said. “She cares a lot about the job and wants to do the best that she can, and it definitely shows.”

Of course, Ms. Bennett only got a taste of the typical spirit week experience. With limitations from the pandemic, many Spirit Week staple traditions had to be cut for safety. Ms. Bennett, however, is excited for what’s to come. 

“I was disappointed that we weren’t able to do the pep rally in the gym, but I’m so glad that we were able to have as much of it as we could,” Ms. Bennett said. “It actually felt like a normal campus thing, not like we’re in a pandemic. I can’t wait until we can do all the events.”

Beyond Spirit Week, Ms. Bennett has been working to fully transition into the school and bond with both students and faculty. 

“My number one important role of my job is connecting with students and making sure that students have every opportunity to reach their highest potential,”  Ms. Bennett said. “I need to do that by talking to students and getting to know them.” 

As students hear her energetic voice over the intercom as they settle into their first period classes or talk to her when she comes by their table at lunch, they feel the excitement. 

“I think she was one of the nicest people I’ve met,” theatre junior Daniel Reiter said. “She really seemed like she cared about the students and I know that’s something that we’ve obviously wanted.”