The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

We need more school traditions

Helen Melendez-Arevalo
Heritage Night is one of AHS biggest events, bringing students together and giving them the opportunity to display their cultural pride.

Back to School Night, Homecoming, Heritage Night, Graduation. These are the biggest events that AHS holds every year. But how many of them are unique to AHS? And, how many can be considered traditions?

Traditions are a valuable source of a school’s identity, school spirit, and a reason for students to come together. Because of this, and because simply there are not enough of them, there should be more school traditions at AHS. Traditions meaning events that involve the entire school, and that everyone is able to participate in, regardless of grade.

“Ever since I came to Annandale, I have been impressed with how much Annandale High School really is the heart of our community,” Principal DeRose says.

DeRose adds, “This is evident in the support our community offers, as well as the many community events we take part in such as Taste of Annandale, Heritage Night, the Annandale Pantry, we’ve hosted color runs and 5ks, our fields and gyms are in use every weekend by community groups.”

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Indeed, AHS and Annandale have a symbiotic relationship. Many events held at AHS invite the Annandale community. This is one of the reasons why these events are so crucial, because they increase the strength of the Annandale community in general.

But what about increasing the community of the school, which in turn would instill greater school spirit and school morale?

Dances are a great way for the entire school to come together. However, there are only two dances per year, and Prom is primarily for seniors. Homecoming is thus the only dance for underclassmen.

Other schools have a Winter formal, a Valentine’s dance, or a Spring formal. Some schools have all of them. This year, AHS tried to host a Sweetheart Formal, but unfortunately not enough people signed up. It would be beneficial for the community of the student body to have another dance. However, spreading the word to express interest is crucial, because clearly it is something the school is willing to do.

Perhaps the reference AHS tradition, the most iconic event at AHS is Heritage Night, an example of a tradition that merges the school and the Annandale community. It is sold out every year.

At Heritage Night, students represent their cultures and perform a show. That same week is another AHS tradition, the FanQuest pep rally.

That whole week is usually a spirit week centered around inclusion. What if the Saturday of that week, there was some sort of Heritage Night dance, where students dressed up in the traditional clothes of their heritage? That would be a great merging of all the best school events, all at once.

Or, there could be some entirely new annual AHS tradition.

“We are always open to new ideas and events that build community and increase student engagement,” says DeRose.

After all, school is greater than a source of learning. It is a source of bonding and friendships that can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. School events and traditions provide these, and we need so much more of them.

You may not remember how to do synthetic division of quadratic equations when you’re 80, but my guess is that you’ll still remember your first Heritage Night.

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About the Contributors
Shane Gomez
Shane Gomez, Co-Editor in Chief

Senior Shane Gomez is the Co-Editor in Chief of the A-Blast. He was Editorials Editor as a sophomore and junior and a Staff Writer as a freshman. He is pursuing the IB Diploma and he can be found frequenting clubs and organizations such as AWC, AYSO, ABC, AA, CFAC, HSC, SHF, MUN, NHS, NEHS, NSSHS, SNHS, VWA, and YMG. He likes to thrift, hangout, and watch movies. He looks forward to graduating.

Christina Abouzeki
Christina Abouzeki, Co-International Editor
Senior Christina Abouzeki is in her second year of journalism as a Co-International Editor. She loves reading, listening to music, and traveling. She plays on the varsity volleyball team and the violin in the philharmonic orchestra. Outside of school, she also likes to spend time with her friends and family.

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