Fall Showcase aims to unite school

Bertina Xue, Arts Layout Editor

Of all the high schools passing by

there’s none that can compare,

There’s none so fair and none so rare

as dear old Brookline High.

The first showcase ever to be held for the high school kicked off with a video of faculty members singing the high school’s Alma Mater.

According to head of the Brookline Superfans Club, senior Ben Gerber, the purpose of the showcase is to unite the entire school around the goal of school pride and spirit.

Planning for the showcase started this summer when a group of 15 students and faculty members gathered for a week long workshop.

“The goal was to think about what school spirit means,” adviser of the Brookline Superfans Club, Michael Normant said. “How we can improve school spirit in Brookline and what it means to have people in the community know about their classmates’ accomplishments.”

Assistant Athletic Director Kyle Williams was not able to attend the summer workshop but expressed his interest in it.

“Their task was to think about where the community is now and where they’d like to see it in the future, and the showcase is what they came up with as a way to move towards that more unified community in the future,” said Williams.

Athletic Director Peter Rittenburg addresses the Superfans during a club meeting. The Superfans, led by adviser Michael Normant and seniors and co-presidents Temen Kim and Ben Gerber, hosted the "Voices of the Fall Showcase" on Oct. 23 and 25.
Athletic Director Peter Rittenburg addresses the Superfans during a club meeting. The Superfans, led by adviser Michael Normant and seniors and co-presidents Temen Kim and Ben Gerber, hosted the “Voices of the Fall Showcase” on Oct. 23 and 25. PHOTO BY BERTINA XUE

The workshop included students that Normant’s colleagues recommended, as well as those he knew were already excited about school spirit. The faculty members who participated were invited by Normant to get an accurate representation of the school. During the workshop, the group came up with a few concrete ideas, one of which was to have events throughout the year called showcases.

“Essentially it is going to feel a little bit like a pep rally, but I didn’t want to call it a pep rally,” Normant said. “Pep rallies are associated with sports and that’s not what this is. I didn’t want the definition to be confused in peoples’ minds. I wanted people to think about this as something different.”

Gerber said that this year, increased emphasis was put on involving the many different groups and cultures of the school.

“Before, we had raised awareness and gone out and sold shirts, but we really hadn’t brought the school together to support the athletes, drama and the other organizations at the school,” Gerber said.

Gerber said he thinks athletes seem to receive more attention because more than half the students in the school are athletes, but at the same time there are a lot of students who are involved in other activities.

During the Fall Showcase, the Drama Society performed a short scene from their upcoming play, "Love's Labour's Lost."
During the Fall Showcase, the Drama Society performed a short scene from their upcoming play, “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” PHOTO BY BERTINA XUE

“We think that the school is more than just athletes and that we should be inclusive of everybody. Bringing in drama and letting them participate too shows that the Warriors don’t just mean sports,” Gerber said.

Normant said he feels that the louder voices tend to be athletes, which is why they seem to receive more attention.

“I don’t think there’s anything about the structure of the school that sets that up,” Normant said. “I think it’s just that the kids that talk to their friends about their stuff, and the kids that go and put the signs up and things like that tend to be the athletes.”

According to Normant, another goal of the showcase was a chance to let every student get a sample of everything going on in the school. The showcase included a preview of the Shakespeare play, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” from which actors performed two scenes from. There were also student speakers and a performance by two school a cappella groups, Perfect Pitch and Testostatones. The showcase ended with a video featuring coaches, faculty and captains.

“The athletes perform at their own games and people can go watch them, but you never get a chance to see those athletes or the plays and concerts during school. You have to make an effort to go on your own time, so the goal of this was to bring some of that stuff to everybody,” Normant said.

At the showcase, athletes from all fall sports were asked to stand up when their sport was announced.

“The goal of the showcase is partly about recognition too,” Normant said. “The point is you should be sitting in the auditorium having a look around and be thinking ‘wow, look at all the people that are involved in all these things.’”

Normant said the support of administration was essential in the success of the showcase.

“The reason we were able to have the workshop this summer was that Dean Meyer, Dean Butchart and Ms. Holman all sort of thought it was a really good idea,” Normant said. “Everybody has been really excited about it and on board. Mr. Butchart actually came to the workshop over the summer and worked with us, and I met with Ms. Holman over the summer to present all of the stuff we’ve done in the workshop.”

Normant said that Williams has also been a supportive figure in the process and helped a lot more than he had to.

“Mr. Normant reached out to me for help a little bit with the athletics side and a little bit with the conceptual side of how we would pull this off,” Williams said. “He and I spent too many late nights here right in this office. He came for an hour-long meeting one time, and we ended up staying until eight o’clock just because it was something that we were really working with.”

Gerber said despite the goals of the event, he didn’t expect the whole school to be wearing red and blue because not everybody feels the same way about school spirit.

“Even if we affect 100, 200 kids, especially the underclassmen who still have a long time to go, I feel that we can make a real change in this school,” Gerber said.

Sophomore Shirley Wu said that the showcase was entertaining and helpful to her.

“The showcase was interesting and informative,” Wu said. “I learned a lot about the athletes at the school, since I don’t do sports I don’t know anything about it usually, so it filled me in on what was going on in the athletic subgroup of the high school.”

Bertina Xue can be contacted at [email protected]