Saving School Spirit

Teacher offers opinion on BV’s morale

Frannie Lamberti, Publication Editor

Blue Valley has always been known for its great school spirit, but after Covid hit, some say it hasn’t been the same. Government and U.S. History teacher Jason Dolezal said all schools in America have been affected by the pandemic.

“It is not what it once was through no fault of anyone at the school,” Dolezal said. “We are starting to bring it back one day at a time, and it will get back to where it was.”

Dolezal started teaching at BV in 2017, and he was shocked by the way things were run from the class chants to the red carpets.

“When I came here, I felt like, ‘Holy cow. This is a real school,’” Dolezal said. “All the things that existed that were kind of corny as freshmen you can miss on your way out as a senior, so they have an impact. It’s those little details that add up to the big experience of Blue Valley High.”

Not only is Covid a reason for missing out on the high school experience, but Dolezal thinks the underclassmen never fully assimilated to their new school.

“They never got to be top dogs, so they come in as freshmen who are even more immature than they normally are,” Dolezal said. “That continues to exacerbate the problem in the classroom — there’s a little bit more disrespect to teachers and now those people are sophomores. Then online, there were D’s and F’s going through the roof. I think the structure suffered a little bit.”

Dolezal said upperclassmen have a responsibility to uphold the standards of school spirit. He showed some freshmen a video a senior from 2020 made.

“I said, ‘This is Blue Valley High. This is what an assembly looks like. This is what a football game looks like. This is what a dance looked like. This is what our school was and needs to get back to,’” Dolezal said.

Dolezal acknowledges things will be different once principal Scott Bacon leaves after this year but also knows change is important.

“Mr. Bacon has established a culture here for 18 years — but every new beginning comes from a beginning’s end,” Dolezal said. “Hopefully [the new principal, Charles Golden,] keeps a lot of the things that make us, us — but they also add in their own flavor and start their own new traditions. You have to do that when you come into a new building. You have to have something that makes it yours.”

Dolezal thinks school is more than just a grade or the transaction from classes but a feeling of community.

“A longing and a sense of purpose gives you a reason to be at school,” Dolezal said. “It’s the people you meet and the events you do, and the things you remember from school that make an impact.”

Taking one day at a time is how Dolezal thinks the school spirit will improve once there are more assemblies and get-togethers.

“We are getting back to the reality of what we once knew and it never left,” Dolezal said. “[Spirit] hasn’t been as prevalent, owned, appreciated and respected as much. This place has a lot of culture, a lot of climate, a lot of pride — we need to make sure that is accentuated often.”