When you are in elementary school, the year ends with field day. When you are in high school, the year ends with final exams.
This year, our St. Philip High School students did both.
The day after Memorial Day, St. Philip students and teachers gathered on Cherry Street for a hot dog lunch and then walked to Walsh Field for a student-led field day.
The idea came from student government officers Abbie Lahr, Maya Segovia, Maggie Hill, Alexis Behnke, Isaac Lussier, Abby Austin, Tiffany Adam, Harleon Deol, Parker Farrington, Hayden Schaub, and Myles McCullin. They had spent the month of May planning class-led pep rallies and wanted a grand finale.
“They wanted to do something extra-fun for the last one,” student government advisor Kyra Rabbitt said. “The kids were really into it.”
Although Mrs. Rabbitt nixed the slip-and-slide down Cherry Street proposal, she was open to a field day. She asked teachers if they were OK losing one afternoon the week before final exams.
Not only were they OK, the teachers joined in the fun.
“All the teachers loved the idea,” Mrs. Rabbitt said.
Each grade planned and prepared two events, which included relays races, water games, a massive kickball tournament, and a lip sync battle. Abbie Lahr and administrative assistant Mary Rabbitt divided students and staff into four teams, and principal Vicky Groat mowed Walsh Field.
“It did take some doing,” Mrs. Rabbitt said. “I appreciate everyone pulling together to make it happen.”
The day was unseasonably hot, but that just added to the competitive spirit.
“Usually you have people who don’t want to get wet, but we literally had people dumping water on themselves,” Mrs. Rabbitt said.
The Blue Team won, but every team had their moment in the sun. Mrs. Rabbitt was surprised how competitive it was for no prize outside of bragging rights.
Field Day may be silly, but sometimes a little silliness is healthy before buckling down for finals.
“The timing wasn’t intentional, but it worked out well,” Mrs. Rabbitt said. “Most teachers have wrapped up their teaching and are moving into review mode.”
The timing also let the student body regroup after the graduating seniors left. There were some large shoes to fill and Field Day gave underclassmen a chance to find new roles.
“I saw new leadership emerge from the juniors,” Mrs. Rabbitt said. “Everyone participated and had a great time.”
Although it isn’t official, Mrs. Rabbitt hopes Field Day returns next year.
“I think Field Day should be an annual event the day after Memorial Day,” Mrs. Rabbitt said. “It will give the underclassmen a fun opportunity to bond after the seniors have left.”
Besides, you’re never too old for field day.