August 27, 2016: School Spirit

Friday night lights at Skutt Catholic Moylan Field
I love this time of year. Hoodies and fleece blankets are officially pulled out, ready for football games and bonfires that fill our weekend nights. Kids and parents have now nestled into a new school year. School spirit fills the air.

My youngest son is now a junior at Skutt Catholic High School. His road to completing high school is becoming shorter. Past the halfway point of his high school journey, the days tick away as my journey through these fun years is coming to an end as well.

My oldest, Zach, began as a fresh-faced freshman in the fall of 2007. Since then, not a year has passed that I haven't had a son walking through the halls of Skutt. Living one mile from the school, door to door, I have been blessed with a home brewing with constant activity as an extension of the school. From pasta feeds in the backyard to a meeting place for kids before and after school events, I have enjoyed every minute of the teenage chaos years.

2010 football game. View to the stands. Zach 3rd from left 
Times have changed over these nine years. Buzz cuts were big for the boys in 2007. A typical setting would be coming home to a line-up of Zach and his fellow football players shaving each other's heads in my front driveway. Using a  #2 or #3 clippers, we had the perfect set-up and equipment.

The boys of the 2016 football team opt for floppy mops of hair and prefer to wear headbands under their hot helmets. The more common occurrence is for me to ask 'whose headband?' while I am trying to match randomly left articles of clothing to the gaggle of boys in the basement.

There is no doubt I have enjoyed this journey. Not without teenage challenges and a little angst, but a wonderful ride as the mom.

This fall has been full of change for me from years past. With two short years left on my ten-year high school mom journey, I had an unexpected life change that has turned into an opportunity. I've become involved at the school at a level above bleacher mom and post-school activities monitor.

With a change in staff at Skutt Catholic last May, I was asked to fill in as interim VP of Finance. Coming off of taking four+ months off work and just starting to develop how I wanted to best fill my days, I had yet to commit to any new projects. The Skutt request was a surprise. After a few meetings and conversations, I deemed it a Godwink.

With my many years of accounting and financial consulting, along with all of my work as a board member of the school and trustee to an archdiocesan church, the duties of this position were an ideal fit to my skill set. With mission and people that fit perfectly with my values, I took on the role and enjoyed a summer full of Skutt.

With kids in and out of the weight room and summer projects taking place on the school grounds, I found enjoyment in seeing and being a part of a team whose mission is to faithfully educate a 720 student body.

Grant would often check in on me, before and after his time in the weight room. Along with his lunch runs for us over the summer, I got to experience the school with Grant at a whole different level. Now summer is over and I am still doing work at Skutt. Although I am now working on other projects for other companies as well, I will continue to help out at the school as long as they need me.

Being a part of the transition into the new school year has been glorious. With new alumni teachers excited to begin their next new journey at Skutt along with familiar staff faces from my first year there in 2007, the school is bustling with activity and excitement. A new year full of opportunity for everyone.

Yesterday I experienced a day rich in school spirit. With fall sports and activities in full force, my school e-mail was filled with reminders of pep band, cheerleading and fall athlete's activities for the day. And then there was a pep rally. I honestly don't think I have been at a high school pep rally since my cheerleader days back at Remsen St. Mary's.

It was spectacular. Although some things have changed dramatically from the 1980's; like my taping the rally on FaceBook Live and the mega video board streaming highlights. Other things are exactly the same. Cheers by grades with the freshman being sheepish and the seniors being rowdy. Cheerleaders with pom-poms. Teachers both monitoring the crowds and joining in on the sideline. The technology has changed, but school spirit is still alive and well.

My scapular from the 2013
winning season returns!
Grant took the field under the Friday night lights and was part of the first Skutt football win of the 2016 season. Game night did not disappoint. Seeing new and old faces in the crowd, Skutt school spirit among parents and fans in the bleachers was at a high.

And as I continue to sit smack in the middle of all of the excitement, I am enjoying my perfect spot.

So here we go. Two years left and counting. I am not sure what each day of this journey will bring, but I do know that I am going to be a happy participant every step of the way. Time to enjoy the ride...

Video of Skutt pep rally 8/26/16
Video link of pep rally above this picture


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