Hills Students GEAR UP for New School Year

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Hills Students GEAR UP for New School Year

Corinne Duffy

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On September 9, 2013, students and staff alike arrived at Pascack Hills High School after what was seemingly a short summer vacation. Nonetheless, classes began along with assemblies and a pep rally to inspire spirit and togetherness.

While many students were sad to see the summer end, Pascack Hills High School principal, Mr. deMarrais was inspired and welcomed all the new and returning students with an uplifting back-to-school assembly.

During his presentation, he employed his acronym “GEAR UP,” which stands for Goals, Effort, Attitude, and Relationships coupled with Unwavering Pride. Mr. deMarrais indicated that he believes this is attainable for all students and the recipe for their success, even though it will be challenging.

His daily goal is to observe students embodying these characteristics.  He created a new mantra, “What’s important now?” … the premise of which is to encourage Hills students to realize what is important and what possible outcomes will result from their choices and actions.

A few weeks into the new academic year and the fall sports season, Pascack Hills held the first pep rally of 2013-2014.  As students were ushered into the main gymnasium, orange spotlights dancing along the walls and bleachers pierced the darkness.

Soon after, the spotlights illuminated the pathway created by the cheerleaders to acknowledge the Hills fall teams.

One by one, the volleyball, girls’ tennis, boys’ soccer, football, and gymnastics teams followed each other along the path.  After each team was honored, the players took their seats facing the bleachers. The cheerleaders danced, soared, and twirled through their routine, captivating the student body with their performance.

The color guard led the marching band to the floor next and captured the attention of all with their rendition of “Gangnam Style.”

Following these performances, each grade participated in tug-of-war. All too soon the rally came to an end and the football game was set to begin.

As thoughts of the summer fade, images of books, classrooms, pride, school spirit, and all that the 2013-2014 school year holds for Hills students begins to emerge.

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