Recapping Redwood’s first ever spring homecoming week

Emma Lightfoot

As the month of May began, so did Redwood’s long overdue homecoming week. Traditionally celebrated in the fall during the football season, COVID-19’s persistence caused Redwood to cancel all of its October homecoming festivities. However, after only a few weeks of full in-person learning, the leadership class was able to organize a modified homecoming week full of lunch-time activities and spirit days to help celebrate the senior class’ last homecoming. Although there was no dance, rally or football game this year, some high school ordinariness returned to student’s lives with last week’s celebrations. 

Posing with their senior jerseys, seniors Brooke Strodder and Jennifer Ahn are excited to celebrate the first day of homecoming week.

2021’s homecoming court featured 11 students nominated by the seniors, based on who they felt best represented their senior class, including athletes, academics, artists and more. The court included Marc Antoine-Maync, Tessa Chou, Miles Crook, Jackson Epps, Lindsay Felder, Zachary Ginsburg, William Muller, Aiko Nahas, Katie Parsons, Camille Ray and Ella Zimmerman. Each member of the homecoming court participated in the lunch-time activities and advocated for their potential role as homecoming royalty. In an effort to avoid large crowds, Epps and Antoine-Maync were crowned shortly before lunch on Friday in a ceremony live-streamed to classrooms. As is tradition, the court, as well as the leadership class, participated in a stairway decorating competition and decorated each of the main building’s four staircases according to 2021’s theme, famous cities in the United States. Varsity soccer player, Bark news editor and homecoming royalty Jackson Epps enjoyed several aspects of the staircase decorating.

“I have never been a part of the leadership class, but being a homecoming nominee allowed me to go to Redwood and decorate the hallways, which was a really fun experience [and allowed me to] bond with my fellow nominees,” Epps said.

Eating lunch prior to singing in the karaoke competition, homecoming court nominee Camille Ray smiles next to homecoming royalty Jackson Epps.

Varsity tennis player, four-year senior site council representative, leadership student and homecoming court nominee Ella Zimmerman has decorated the staircase in the past as a leadership student and has always appreciated the experience. Zimmerman believes her off-the-cuff style of planning will allow for a victory. 

“Usually our class is known for not really having a plan and putting things up as we go along and making up new ideas, and it has seemed to work out for us because we have been the winners the past two years. So fingers crossed we win again this year,” Zimmerman said.

Although Redwood was able to provide a homecoming week, it strayed from homecoming’s status quo. The court had varying opinions on this year’s modified homecoming week.Varsity soccer athlete, Associated Student Body (ASB) treasurer, leadership student and homecoming court nominee Lindsay Felder felt that this year’s homecoming was actually better than years past.

Laughing at his partner Katie Parsons’ answer, William Muller playfully throws up his hands.
Singing “TikTok,” by Ke$ha, homecoming court nominees Katie Parsons, Ella Zimmerman and Aiko Nahas raise their hands in the air.

“Honestly, I liked that we didn’t have a dance this year because the homecoming court is all seniors but no seniors really go to the dance. [Because there was no dance], it made it feel more important for the senior class,” Felder said.

Zimmerman had another perspective when it came to homecoming week, as she has worked on several homecoming weeks in the past. 

“In leadership, all you look forward to is your senior year homecoming because everybody participates, you get to decorate the big hallway and for homecoming, you get to show up in a limo,” Zimmerman said. “There are just so many fun things that originate from being a senior, so missing out on those was a bummer, especially after seeing those happen and being behind the scenes for the last three years.” 

Despite  Felder and Zimmerman’s differing opinions, both  enjoyed the fact that Redwood was able to put on a homecoming celebration, as did Epps, especially as the Redwood student body has only been back in full in-person learning for four weeks. 

“I wasn’t expecting to have a homecoming week at all so I think even having it to begin with gave us all something to not only look forward to, but something to participate in and culminate our senior year with,” Epps said.