This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life.

Homecoming at Johnson College Prep has always been a joyous time, but this year was even more special. Traditionally, homecoming is a time where we celebrate our fall sports and show our Puma Pride. And while we did do that, this year was truly about coming “home.” 

On March 13, 2020, JCP closed its doors and, unbeknownst to us, would not reopen until over 18 months later. This left us with the question of how can we curate school spirit through computer screens? We tried, from virtual pep-rallies to spirit weeks and town halls on Zoom. But as Motown stars Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell once said, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.”

It was amazing to be able to hold this year’s homecoming in person again. 

We kicked it off with Spirit Week; students voted on the theme of each day to decide how they wanted to dress up. They definitely shocked teachers when their “Throwback Thursday” fashions were inspired by the early 2000s!

Photo shows Johnson College Prep student posing with Spirit Week costume

The pep rally to conclude Spirit Week was the icing on the cake, many students said. 

“The pep rally reminded me of why I love school. Learning is fun and teachers are cool, but it is really my day-to-day interactions with my friends that make it worth it,” Amber Ellison, a senior at JCP, said, “And let’s be honest, seniors always bring the energy needed to any space!”

The energy at the pep rally soared with our hosts, teachers Ms. Ford and Mr. Downing, ramping up the celebration. The rally also included a stellar debut performance from our Dance Team, now under Coach Carlos, some awesome DJ music, and plenty of dancing!

Also, in true JCP fashion, there was plenty of friendly competition.

Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and staff battled in a variety of challenges. Juniors represented by winning our class Color Wars, every student rocking their new JCP shirts with colors matching their entire class. Seniors took home the top prize for defeating all other classes AND staff in a giant game of tug o’ war. Lastly, freshmen wiped the dance floor, beating all other students in our dance battle.

Photo shows students competing in tug o' war at Johnson College Prep homecoming pep rally

The pure joy on our students’ faces as we celebrated was nothing short of amazing! To be able to feel a sense of normalcy with our entire student body was a feeling that many teachers needed.

Best summed up by Mr. Downing: “Virtual school was no easy feat. I often found myself questioning if I wanted to continue on as an educator. Then I hosted the pep rally, and it reassured me that it was the joy piece I was missing. The smiling faces, not black boxes on a screen; the singalongs, not chat conversations; and witnessing the camaraderie of 500 plus students excited to be at JCP!”

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