Urbana School District Monthly
April 2009
King Elementary
Leal Elementary
Prairie Elementary
Thomas Paine Elementary
Urbana High School
Urbana Middle School
Washington Early Childhood
Wiley Elementary
Yankee Ridge Elementary
UMS Assistant Principal Patrick Russell prepares to do battle with his fellow staffers in the UMS students vs. staff games during spirit week.
UMS Assistant Principal Patrick Russell prepares to do battle with his fellow staffers in the UMS students vs. staff games during spirit week.

UMS Faculty, Students Square Off During Spirit Week

Students at Urbana Middle School started their Spring Break in a fun way. On the last day of school before the break, UMS culminated Spirit Week with a staff vs. students game of volleyball and basketball. The girls played the staff in volleyball and the boys played the staff in basketball. We won’t tell you the final scores; however we can report the level of competition was spirited and (from what this reporter could tell) very friendly.

UMS Assistant Principal Patrick Russell says, “This is the first time on record that we’ve done this.” The assembly began with the national anthem. Russell encouraged the students to make noise and enjoy themselves, and the students obliged with raucous cheering and foot-stomping that thundered through the UMS gym. Each team was introduced to rousing ovations. The UMS faculty and staff got into the spirit of things by wearing “You Just Got Schooled” t-shirts for the occasion.

“The students are excited and they’re channeling it in a positive way,” Russell adds. “Every day we’ve had a different theme ... and they’ve had a lot of fun with it. When you do something like this there’s always a concern (about students getting carried away), but the kids have done exceptionally well.”

UMS Students enjoy students vs. staff games at the UMS gym.
UMS Students enjoy students vs. staff games at the UMS gym.

Russell says he hopes Spirit Week and the climatic students vs. staff games will help build community. He comments, “If we keep having assemblies like this I think it will just help us foster a sense of community and have pride in Urbana Middle School. In the past years we haven’t had many all-school assemblies and I think it’s easy to feel (disconnected). There are very few things we’ve done as an entire school, so we’re trying to create opportunities for kids to have that feeling of community.”

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