A Marvel-ous assembly


On April 14, seniors hold their phone flashlights to cheer sophomore Ava Rhine playing the guitar. The Renaissance academic pep assembly returned in person in the field house since 2019. (Photo by Tori Turner)

Taya Abraham, Feature Editor

With COVID-19 regulations diminishing, the Renaissance committee hosted the first in-person academic pep assembly in two years on April 14. 

The academic pep assembly focuses on recognizing academic achievement within the school. Each year, the Renaissance committee works to choose a theme, create decorations, figure out spirit week days and announce the awards during the assembly. This year the club voted on a Marvel theme. In between the state, district and school-level awards, various entertainment acts perform for the entire school. Co-sponsor Logan Kramer said the academic-focus of the assembly is what sets it apart from other school events. 

“This is a really unique assembly. It’s really special. In the past, there’s been a culture of everyone wanting to celebrate everyone else, very respectful. It has a different vibe than some of the other assemblies. Those assemblies, while they’re fun, [are] more about competition and recognizing sports. This one we are recognizing academic achievement, and a lot of the time, I think, people will listen to the names being called. People applaud their classmates, and it’s just something really special,” Kramer said.

While Renaissance presented a virtual assembly last year, the senior class is the only grade that has witnessed an in-person academic pep assembly. Going into the assembly, senior director of Renaissance Sarah Koenig said not having an example of an in-person assembly made the process even more daunting. 

Senior Sahi Jilakara dances at the academic pep assembly. The assembly took place in the field house on April 14. (Photo by Annabelle Warren)

“I’m really scared. There’s a lot of pressure, but it’s okay. 

I know that we are able to do it. I think it is a little scary not having an exact roadmap to follow, and since we haven’t had an in-person assembly in two years, there’s a lot of ways that we can change things and a lot of ways to improve certain parts,” Koenig said. “But it is still kind of scary because at the end of the day, we are kind of driving the ship in the dark.”

Nevertheless, Renaissance was able to bring forth ideas for the assembly, including new plans that had not been done previously. On April 11, honor roll students were able to pick up a Krispy Kreme donut during lunch. In past years, honor roll students typically received a white shirt that matched the theme of the assembly. However, co-sponsor Kacey Schlotz said Renaissance did not have enough money to purchase the shirts for the honor roll students this year. 

“Shirts cost over 5000 dollars each year because we have so many honors students. We have 820 [honor roll students] this year, and so, we unfortunately do not have it in our budget anymore since we are a fund-raised only [club]. So, in order to honor those students with good grades, we talked with some of the Renaissance committee, and they thought donuts would be a good choice,” Schlotz said. “And then, also, we are excited because even though we’re not doing T-shirts, we are being more inclusive this year by giving every student a glow stick bracelet [for the assembly] instead of only giving [honor roll] students a shirt. So, we’re trying to be more inclusive because everybody should be celebrated.” 

Seniors Brenden Duff and Lucas Bytnar sing and dance as they perform “Put On Your Sunday Clothes”. The cast of Hello Dolly staged a production of the number at the assembly (Photo by Lily Tarticchio)