By Sarah Brunskill
This year is a little different than our previous years, but aren’t we used to that by now? This year instead of homecoming king and queen we have the E.A.S.T. Homecoming Court. We have four different students that are selected for homecoming court. The E stands for extracurriculars, A stands for Academics, S for spirit, and T for torch. Let’s get to know them and their thoughts on the change in tradition, as well as why they think they won their particular spot.
Kennedy Intihar is beyond involved. She is a noteworthy leader in many clubs, sports, and activities. Throughout her high school career, she has been a game and competitive cheerleader for four years and is the Varsity Cheerleading Captain this year. Not only is she involved with cheerleading, but she is also the current Student Council President and Concert Band President. Her favorite club at East is Unity in Diversity. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to metal bands and creating art. She is planning on studying graphic design and business management at university. Kennedy has definitely set high expectations for successive homecoming courts.
In school Ross is very involved, he is Stuco Secretary, SciOly Captain, and part of Mock Trial. Along with that, he enjoys hanging out with his friends. Outside of school, he plays a lot of piano and recreational tennis.
You might have seen Max at the East football games getting the crowd riled up. Max carries a big reputation with East basketball as he has been captain since freshman year. He loves to go to sporting events and enjoys hanging out with his friends.
Simone has been the captain of the Varsity soccer team for two years and has been on the Varsity team for five. Not only does she play for the school team but she also plays club soccer at WNY Flash. She said she loves to travel and she has two golden doodles. Simone has left a big impact on East and especially the soccer community. In the East community, carrying the torch is a reflection of who you are as a citizen of East High school and Simone has represented the east community perfectly.
Since this year was a little different than previous years, I asked each of them what they thought about homecoming court instead of homecoming king and queen.
Kennedy Intihar helped advocate for this change from homecoming king and queen to the homecoming court and helped develop this new idea. She said, “Creating specific categories celebrates all types of successes, which I think is very important. Also, creating a gender-neutral award is a big step in creating a more accepting culture of gender non-conforming people.”
Since this was such a major change I asked the others that were on the court how they felt about this transition.
Max Schneider said that he likes the homecoming court because more people are involved. Simone agreed with Max: “I also think it’s great that more students are able to be voted and a part of the experience.” She added, “I think the homecoming court is a good representation of our current society. I appreciate change and acknowledgment of when change should occur, and I think the titles are equally as exciting.”
Ross included how he felt about this change, “I’m actually very pleased with the change. Although King and Queen stick to tradition, the contemporary EAST nominations are gender-inclusive and offer a wider range of nominees in different areas of high school excellence.”
They all liked the
change from homecoming king and queen and they each said that they were very excited about the nomination.
Ross Mansurov described his reaction, “It was pretty exciting to see all the support from everyone around me; the experience went like a blur of course, but I was definitely surprised.” Max said, “I was excited and always wanted to get nominated for homecoming court.” Simone said, “ I was very shocked and grateful that my class thought highly enough of me for a nomination.” Kennedy was also surprised. She added, “I didn’t know that other people knew about every activity I’m involved with, let alone nominate me for the Homecoming Court. I was really honored and felt like my hard work was being rewarded!” All of them were surprised by the nomination and receiving that nomination showed them that others notice their hard work too.
After they received the nominations and their positions on the homecoming court, I asked why they think they received the titles they received. Kennedy was chosen to represent E, extracurriculars. She said that she joins a lot of clubs, committees, and teams, and has a whole lot of different interests. She includes, “Do I have much time to kick back and relax? Not really. But I enjoy being involved and developing a well-rounded life.” For Academics, Ross Mansurov was chosen. Ross believes that he received the nominations because of his advanced course rigor and heavy involvement and leadership in academic clubs such as SciOly and Mock Trial. Additionally, his overall school involvement with Student Government helped put a spotlight on the other things he does around East. Max Schneider was picked to represent S for Spirit on our homecoming court. Max thinks he was nominated because he goes to the East sporting events and brings a lot of enthusiasm. He also thinks his ability to get everyone engaged made an impact. Lastly, Simone Brock was chosen to represent T for torch. Simone thinks that she may have been nominated because of her time on the soccer team and her different interests that have led her to make friends with a variety of people at East.
After I asked them what they hoped to gain from this experience on the homecoming court. Kennedy said, “Moving forward, I want to continue being heavily involved in organizations and extracurricular activities. I love being busy with my passions, and to be recognized for having many passions encourages me to develop more.” Ross responded that he hopes, “to highlight the importance of academic success within high school while simultaneously driving myself to continue my academic endeavors.” Max also adds how he “hopes to encourage others to get involved.” Simone includes how she hopes “to continue representing T.O.R.C.H in other aspects of my life and after graduation.”
The letters of our E.A.S.T. homecoming court are represented well and have set the bar high for our future homecoming courts.