Is the true spirit of a place, seen, heard, or felt? I think it is all of the above; but, more importantly, I think that true spirit is seen in the attitudes of those who inhabit a place.
Our place is Harrisburg Academy.
You can see our spirit in our “circle H” magnets on the cars we drive, the Spartans on our spirit wear, and in our fondness for the colors blue and gold; but mostly, you can see our spirit in how we interact.
You can hear our spirit in the daily rhythms and habits here at school, our hellos in the halls (or high fives with the little ones who are supposed to keep quiet while the big kids are learning), our spirited but respectful discourse in the classroom, and in our cheering for one another at games, matches, and performances. It is the pride heard in our students’ voices when they say with a smile, “I’m a survivor” (having been here since Junior Kindergarten), or “I’m new and I love it here, everyone is so nice to me”.
Our spirit is also formally heard in the heartfelt advice offered to classmates in their 8th and 12th grade speeches, where personal triumph and lessons learned are shared, where encouragement is given to cherish the experiences and the friendships they are afforded here, and where challenges are made to take advantage of the education, opportunities, and fun.
But mostly you can hear it in the pride and ownership they claim when speaking of their school, of their beloved teachers, and of their classmates – friends on whom they so strongly depend.
It is most fun to watch and hear the excitement that vibrates from the students as they cheer “the Spartan” when he makes an appearance at a pep rally – the biggest celebrity on our campus with the younger set.
And what does spirit feel like? Well, it feels good! Because we are all willing and eager participants; we show up, and cheer for one another, for our school and for ourselves – for collectively, we are the spirit of Harrisburg Academy.