The Class of 2014: Dancing With Dreams

By Meilan Solly
LEESBURG, VA- Everyone dreams. They imagine faraway lands full of dashing princes and damsels in distress; they dream of futuristic cities; they picture cows jumping over the moon; and they have nightmares about evil creatures like the Grudge. Tuscarora’s homecoming theme this year was “Caught in a Dream,” and the four classes’ themes were the future, fairy tales, sweet dreams, and nightmares, respectively.
Last year was Tuscarora’s inaugural year, so students who attended the homecoming dance were able to experience the very first dance in Tuscarora history. Jessica Thoppil, a sophomore, said about her freshman homecoming experience, “I had a good time at the dance with my friends, but hope [homecoming is] even better this year [because we have] more students and a cool theme!” This year, Thoppil planned on attending the game and dance, plus participating in spirit week as much as possible. Katy Layman, sophomore, described her freshman homecoming as “really fun because it was my first high school dance and I hadn’t really known what to expect, but it turned out to be more fun than I thought it would [be]!” This year she expected homecoming to “just be a time to forget about all the stress in school and to have fun with friends.”
Before homecoming, sophomore class president Drake Etheridge said, “Our theme is fairy tale, so we are trying to think of decorations and ideas for the hallway/float that relate to fairytales, like castles [and] dragons.” Lilly Thomas, sophomore class historian, added that the class council was searching for Disney princess decorations. To raise money for the float and decorations, the class council had several fundraisers.
The plan for the float was to make it look like a castle. Sophomores stayed after school on several days to make the float and decorate the hallway. Ms. Harvey, an English teacher and sophomore class sponsor, said that the sophomores had so many ideas for homecoming they needed to condense their list. At a sophomore class meeting on September 28th, attendees discussed making hallway decorations such as a dragon and glass slippers made of construction paper, cotton ball clouds, and confetti.
The sophomore class council, which is made up of Drake Etheridge, president, Michelle Fleagle, vice president, Kelly Shepherd, treasurer, Claire Dietrich, secretary, and Lilly Thomas, historian, was very involved in shaping the sophomores’ homecoming experience. Etheridge stated that as sophomore class president, he was “trying to lead the float and hallway [decorations] so our class can win the contest as well as boost school spirit.” As class historian, Thomas is responsible for recording important events for the sophomore class. She bought a scrapbook and is planning to write notes and include photos about different occurrences at Tuscarora, including homecoming. Thomas hopes this scrapbook will be used “to look back and remember how [sophomores] planned for homecoming [and other events.]”
Two integral people in the sophomores’ lives are Ms. Harvey and Mrs. Underhill, the sophomore class sponsors. “I wanted a way to get to know a larger section of the student body. It’s interesting to interact with kids outside of class,” said Ms. Harvey about her reason for becoming a sophomore class sponsor. Mrs. Underhill stated she wanted to become involved for the same reason. As sophomore class sponsors, Mrs. Underhill and Ms. Harvey are responsible for helping to plan the sophomores’ participation in dances, spirit days, and more. So far, Ms. Harvey has enjoyed her experience as a class sponsor, saying it’s been nice getting to know a lot of sophomores. Mrs. Underhill said right now she’s “still at the point where I’m training to get organized.”
On Friday, October 14th, Tuscarora held its homecoming parade and game. The sophomore class float appeared in the parade, and later at the homecoming game, which was played against Park View, Tuscarora won 13-9. The homecoming court was seen at the pep rally, homecoming game, and dance, and sophomore representatives were Tristan Taylor, Hannah Hodson, and Keni Nodland.
Overall, the sophomores’ homecoming experience was better than last year’s. Jessica Thoppil said, “Last year’s homecoming wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was that great either. I think it could have been more fun, and many people left early. Homecoming was a lot better this year because there were more students and I knew more of the people [at the dance.]” Thoppil thinks that homecoming was better planned this year. As for Lilly Thomas, her sophomore homecoming was very different from her freshman one. “I have personally experienced how much work it takes to put on a great and fun homecoming, so [from] now on, I will never take any of the homecoming decorations or ideas for granted,” she said. Thomas described her experience as “great” in general.
The L600 hall was filled with smoke, swords, and dragons on the day before homecoming. The sophomore float was designed to look like a castle, adhering well to the fairy tale sophomore homecoming theme. The dashing princes and damsels (most likely not in distress, however) that often appear in people’s dreams were seen in the form of students dressed to the nines at the homecoming dance, and while there was no Prince Charming searching for glass slippers, for some students at least, the night really did come straight out of a fairy tale.
The sophomore hallway was decorated with streamers, castles, dragons, and swords to represent the theme of fairy tale. Photo by Shalom Montero.