2017 Winners 2017-11-15T10:58:08+00:00

2017 Winners & Finalists

Congratulations to all winners and finalists of the 2017 Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards.
View the complete list of honorees below.

WINNER! Isaiah Jones | Childersburg High School, Childersburg, AL
Isaiah Jones is a Varsity Basketball player at Childersburg High School. At 6’3”, he is a strong presence on the court and with a GPA of 3.75 he is just as  strong in the classroom. Despite his skills, Isaiah is known best for his can-do attitude. His school counselor describes him as humble, giving and a strong role model and leader – the “total package.”

Meet the finalists:

Janelle Gardner | Baker County High School,  Glen Saint Mary, FL
Tess Reynolds | Grovetown High School, Grovetown, GA
Katherine Berlin | Orange Park High School, Orange Park, FL
Jacob Cryder | Tempe Preparatory Academy, Tempe AZ

WINNER! Haley Davis | Waverly Central High School, Waverly, TN
Haley Davis, head manager for Waverly Central’s football team, juggles many responsibilities. She leads nine other managers and works to keep games and practices running efficiently. And, she does it all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and serving as Senior Class President. Head Football Coach Matt McConnell explains, “Without Haley Davis, this football season would have been very difficult. She truly is a magnificent manager”

Meet the Finalists:

Matthew Chaffee | Cherokee High School, Marlton, NJ
Abby Knott | Roosevelt High School, Portland, OR
Kaleb Kerby | St. Johns High School, St. Johns, MI

WINNER! Taylor Sampson | Corner Canyon High School, Draper, UT
Taylor Sampson, a senior at Corner Canyon High School, was recently named the most spirited student in her class. As the Student Body Officer responsible for technology, Taylor has taken on the job of creating weekly “Charger Memories” videos. So far, she has made over 40 videos celebrating her classmates and their accomplishments.  She consistently earns a spot on the honor roll, and is known around the community for her drive, integrity and enthusiasm.

Meet the Finalists:

Lindsay Tatum | Ballard Memorial High School, Barlow, KY
Nicole Sacco | Cranston High School West, Cranston, RI
Tyra Ericson | Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie, MN
Joshua Ardoin | St. Thomas More High School, Lafayette, LA
Sofia Murtaugh | White Station High School, Memphis, TN

WINNER! West Washington High School | Campbellsburg, IN
The Varsity Football Team at West Washington high school embodies the highest ideals of spirit and respect. Their integrity is best exemplified by a game that officials report, was “the best displays of sportsmanship seen in many years of working.” When a rival team could only put 10 players on the field, West Washington removed a player from the line to ensure a fair game. The West Washington football team prides itself on maintaining a family atmosphere, and on inviting guests to their family with open arms.

Meet the finalists:

Cleveland High School | Seattle, WA
Narragansett High School | Narragansett – RI

WINNER! Daniel Boone Area High School | Birdsboro, PA
The Daniel Boone Area High School Boone Squad has a mission to represent their community with loyalty, pride and respect.  Beyond bringing spirit and enthusiasm to all Daniel Boone events, the Boone Squad always encourages students to do the right thing. Game night themes have revolved around honoring veterans, the importance of voting, showing support for cancer awareness, donating cans of food to the local pantry. They even put together a clean-up crew to help keep the stadium clean after games. They embody a sense of pride and belonging on game days, and importantly all year long.

Meet the finalists:

Cedar Creek High School | Cedar Creek, TX
Covington Catholic High School | Park Hills, KY
Franklin High School | Franklin, TN
Pleasant Valley High School | Chico, CA

WINNER! Fort Walton Beach High School | Fort Walton Beach, FL
The Fort Walton Beach High School Band in Florida “paints a portrait of motivation through vivid school colors and an amazing production of music.” The band is always ready to move students to their feet, and has a strong presence at a variety of school events. The band keeps students connected, creates an effortless school spirit, and motivates students to get involved.  At the mere sound of a trumpet, clang of a cymbal, or tap of a drum, Fort Walton Beach students and faculty begin to move, clap and stomp. They define the meaning of school spirit.

Meet the finalists:

Coldwater High School | Coldwater, MI
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School | Mobile, AL
Pace High School | Pace, FL
Park Vista High School | Lake Worth, FL
Washington High School | Fremont, CA

WINNER! Dover High School | Dover, OH

At Dover High School in Ohio, the cheerleaders are more than athletes on the sidelines – they are staples of their community. The team believes in showing appreciation to all school stakeholders and serving as positive school representatives. The Dover cheerleaders get involved in a variety of initiatives, including the Little Tornado Reading Program, Dover’s “Fill a Bus” campaign for their local food pantry, and numerous charity walks and events. The cheerleaders even pioneered the school’s first hashtag, #WeAreDover. The Dover cheerleaders also serve as role models for inclusion of students with disabilities through their involvement with The Sparkle Effect. Dover’s Sparkle Effect team debuted this fall and has received rave reviews from students and staff alike.

Meet the finalists: 

Big Walnut High School | Sunbury, OH
Copper Hills High School | Copper Hills, UT
Hidalgo Early College High School | Hidalgo, TX
Kittatinny Regional High School | Newton, NJ
Pendleton Heights High School | Pendleton, IN

WINNER! Loyola Academy | Wilmette, IL

The Loyola Academy Ramblerettes really do it all. Academically, the team is above the 90th percentile of their school, with an overall GPA of 3.7. The team also makes a point of performing for as many sports as possible. They teamed up with their JV team to create the “Ramblerette Spirit Squad.” The squad creates locker signs, comes up with cheers and chants for every sport and honors senior athletes throughout the school year. The Ramblerettes are also very focused on bringing spirit to their community, and work year-round with Misericordia, a residential community for adults with disabilities.

Meet the finalists: 

Broken Arrow High School | Broken Arrow, OK
Cherokee Trail High School | Centennial, CO
Eden Prairie High School | Eden Prairie, MN
Lake Forest High School | Lake Forest, IL
Rock Canyon High School | Highlands Ranch, CO

WINNER! Mount Carmel Academy | New Orleans, LA
The Mount Carmel Academy Chorale is, “more than a club . . . [they] are a close-knit family, a sisterhood, who share a great love for music and desire to be a source of pride for [their] school and community.” This group can truly do it all… they can raise their voices in song for a competition or they can raise their voices at pep rallies to get the school pumped up and ready to cheer and sing. All of these young ladies are energetic, positive and motivated.

Meet the finalists: 

Burlington High School | Burlington, WI
Danville High School | Danville, IA
Somerville High School | Somerville, NJ
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic High School | Perryville, MO

WINNER! Seth Moyers | Fayetteville High School
Seth Moyers, A.K.A. Victor E. is the face of the Fayetteville High School Tigers. Victor E. takes seriously his role as an ambassador for Fayetteville, and upholds the highest standards of spirit and sportsmanship. He even sends out annual holiday cards to Fayetteville’s competitors! Victor E. Community service is central to his role. He participates in local literacy programs, hands out pink pom-poms to promote breast cancer awareness, and supports the Tigers all year long. One community member explains, “Victor E. is making our schools and community better. He is a role model and motivator for all ages.”

Meet the finalists:

Noah Bozell | Anderson High School
Hannah Grace Umphers | Christ Presbyterian Academy
Brendan Mohan | Rootstown High School

WINNER! Ari Kutzer, Cherry Creek High School | Greenwood Village, CO
Junior Ari Kutzer – with the help of Cherry Creek’s broadcast media team – created this year’s winning submission, a “hype” video designed to generate excitement about homecoming. The video captures all the highlights of life as a Bruin, from pep rallies to athletic events to musical performances to scenic footage of the landscapes surrounding the school.

Meet the finalists:

Cedar Creek High School | Cedar Creek, TX
Fort Walton Beach High School | Fort Walton Beach, FL
Great Oak High School | Temecula, CA

WINNER! Peter Wininger | Bristol Central High School, Bristol, CT
Students describe Principal Peter Wininger as the heartbeat of Bristol Central High School. For 10 years, Principal Wininger has made the wellbeing of students and staff his life’s mission. Principal Wininger launched the Ram Locker, a “giving closet” where students in need can shop for clothing free of charge. The Ram Locker has aided hundreds of Bristol Central students. Four years ago, Principal Wininger created Festivus, a schoolwide holiday celebration featuring a pep rally, obstacle courses and friendly competitions between students and staff. English Teacher Gale Dickau explains, “Pete Wininger’s interest and influence reach all areas of the school . . . He is the protector and promoter of his staff, an advocate for students and the expert at the table when it comes to educational theory and practice.”

Meet the finalists:

Toby Pearce | Flora High School, Flora, IL
Frances Clare | Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, CA
Dennis “Chip” Medders | Troup County High School, LaGrange, GA

WINNER! Douglas Snyder | William Allen High School, Allentown, PA
For 20 years, Doug Snyder has been teaching history and coaching basketball at William Allen High School. In 1997, Snyder stepped into the gym and instantly became not just a coach but a mentor to his team. Through the years his mentoring efforts have expanded to ensure that every player from a single parent home has a role model in the community.  Allen Basketball players have gone onto successful college careers, some continuing in professional basketball. More than a few have followed in his footsteps, pursuing coaching careers of their own.

Meet the finalists:

Vicki Williams | Chapin High School, Chapin, SC
Angie Stage | Davie County High School, Mocksville, NC
John Hinkleman | San Bernardino High School, San Bernardino, CA
Scott Ellett | Wayne High School, Bicknell, UT

WINNER! Luke Beach | Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, MI
Athletic Director Luke Beach has a passion for people, which can be seen in the way he treats all students. On a weekly basis, Mr. Beach meets with all varsity captains as part of Rochester’s Captain’s Club, so that he can provide regular support and leadership advice. Mr. Beach also started a Women in Leadership program, which gives Rochester’s female student-athletes the opportunity to meet female community leaders. He is supportive of every student, and his impact extends far beyond athletics.   

Meet the finalists: 

Cindy Roach | Blue Valley West High School, Overland Park, KS
Randy Garrett | Coffee High School, Douglas, GA
Molly Feesler | Pickerington High School, Pickerington, OH

WINNER! Justin Johnson | St. Vincent’s Academy, Savannah, GA
Justin Johnson has been a mathematics teacher at St. Vincent’s Academy for ten years. Early in his career, Mr. Johnson helped students fund an organic garden to supply food to those in need. Using the garden for instruction, his classes tracked plant growth rates using mathematical formulas. As a result of that project, students began to express interest in learning to cook. Using his prior experience as a chef, Mr. Johnson then began to offer Culinary Arts as an elective class, focused on cooking with math embedded in the curriculum. Being able to capture the interests of students and instill in them a love of mathematics defines Justin Johnson as a Top-Notch Teacher.

Meet the Finalists:

Billie Williams | Chapin High School, Chapin, SC
Nicholas Copeland | Frenship High School, Wolfforth, TX
Mary Hagedorn | Perry Central High School, Leopold, IN

WINNER! Danielle Cote | San Benito High School, Hollister, CA
Danielle Cote’s arrival to San Benito High School three years ago “upgraded” the entire Athletic Department. She teaches Sports Medicine class during the day, and transitions into her Athletic Training duties immediately after school.  She handles the preventative and rehabilitative needs of each student-athlete with precision and care. In addition, Danielle has completely revitalized San Benito’s Sports Medicine Club, where students who have an interest in a medical, athletic training, or physical therapy career can become student trainers under Danielle’s guidance.  Her dedication to her students is simply unparalleled.

Meet the Finalists:

John Hansen | Los Alamitos High School, Los Alamitos, CA
Chad Abrams | Reeltown High School, Notasulga, AL
Becky Taylor | Sherwood High School, Sandy Spring, MD

WINNER! Randy Kepley | Strafford High School, Strafford, MO
Randy Kepley loves his school and community unconditionally. Upon his graduation from Strafford High School, Randy began working as a custodian for the school district, a position he has held for 20 years. In that time, Randy and his sister Tina and have attended hundreds of games and events. More importantly, they give their unwavering support through good and bad times. No matter the outcome of the game, they stand ready to greet every student athlete with a high five and encouraging words. One mother writes, “Our games would not be the same without him; our school would not be the same without him.”

Meet the Finalists:

Gina Vessella | Central High School, Providence, RI
Jan Shaffer | Fort Walton Beach High School, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Jeff Lehman | Kettle Moraine High School, Wales, WI

WINNER! Christopher Rogers | Cass Technical High School, Detroit, MI
At Cass Technical High School, the students see counselor Christopher Rogers as a superhero. At any given time, he has an office full of students who looking for his help with scheduling, letters of recommendation, help with teachers, or help with difficult situations at home. Whether it’s lunch hour, after school, sitting in the stands at after-school games, or walking in the hallway, it seems there is always someone vying for his time. Principal Lisa Phillips explains, “In a time when many inner-city young men lack adult males to look up to, Mr. Rogers models for them who they aspire to be.”

Meet the finalists: 

Melody Dickens | Calvary Christian School, Covington, KY
Nancy Medling | Dyer County High School, Newbern, TN
Richard Sypniewski | Great Oak High School, Temecula , CA

WINNER! Pleasant Valley High School | Bettendorf, IA
At Pleasant Valley High School, the administrators, staff, and students embrace an unwavering commitment to inclusion. In 2008, Students at Pleasant Valley created the nation’s first inclusive cheerleading team, the Spartan Sparkles. The Sparkles continue to cheer under the Friday night lights to packed crowds and standing ovations. Building on that PV pride, students created “PV Pals,” a club that brings together students with and without disabilities for social activities. The Unite Club, another student-driven endeavor, believes in universal respect for all races, nationalities, religions, gender identities, abilities, appearance, and financial status. Each month, club members address a different group of students to raise awareness and promote understanding, acceptance, and respect.

Meet the finalists:

Cleveland High School |  Seattle, WA
Lexington High School | Lexington, SC
Ovey Comeaux High School | Lafayette, LA

WINNER! Loyola Sacred Heart High School | Missoula, MT
As a yearly homecoming tradition students and staff at Loyola Sacred Heart High School in Missoula, Montana work together to inspire true community spirit. Since 1962, the Loyola community has made the annual trek up Mount Jumbo to re-paint one of the city’s landmarks – A massive letter “L” for Loyola. Over the last four years, the school has also expanded their efforts to include trail work. Students pull weeds and spread grass and flower seeds along the mountainside. Loyola Sacred Heart is full of history, but this homecoming tradition has an impact and significance greater than just Loyola school pride — it is appreciated by the entire community and gives back to the City of Missoula.

Meet the finalists:

Abraham Lincoln High School | San Francisco, CA
Bingham High School | South Jordan, UT
Pleasant Valley High School | Chico, CA
St. Vincent’s Academy | Savannah, GA

WINNER! Ottawa Township High School | Ottawa, IL
The Ottawa Township High School Booster Club is the embodiment of generosity and dedication. Parents, faculty, staff, and the community of Ottawa comprise the booster club, and work together to encourage positive relationships between students, parents and the community. The booster club raises over $150,000 annually, and makes sure that those funds support every aspect of student life. From providing new uniforms and equipment to athletic teams, benches and signage around the school and scholarships for graduating seniors, this fun-loving, creative, and talented group is dedicated to the past, present, and future of Ottawa Township.

Meet the finalists:

Cedar Creek High School | Cedar Creek, TX
Eldred High School | Eldred, NY
Middletown High School | Middletown, CT

WINNER! Brentwood High School | Brentwood, TN
You Are HERE. That’s the theme of Brentwood High School’s yearbook, because Brentwood students love to be active and engaged members of the community. Yearbook students pride themselves on capturing the memories and accomplishments of all students, from their 19 National Merit Semifinalists, to their state championship athletic teams. No matter the activity, from games to academic competitions, rehearsals, shows, service projects, and school dances, yearbook students are on-site and ready to capture the spirit of Brentwood.

Meet the finalists:

Case High School | Racine, WI
Chantilly High School | Chantilly, VA
Haltom High School | Haltom, TX
Lake Zurich High School | Lake Zurich, IL
Libertyville High School | Libertyville, IL
Riviera Preparatory School | Miami, FL

WINNER! Glacier High School | Kalispell, MT
Glacier High School in Montana opened in 2007 with a commitment to students that their annual graduation ceremony would reflect their journey. All aspects of graduation, from start to finish, are managed by students. Graduating seniors select student musicians, speakers, and masters of ceremonies. No adults preside over the ceremony, and all speakers are students. Each year, all graduates wear a white stole and class medallion as a symbol of their deep appreciation and gratitude. Each graduate honors one person that has made a significant positive impact in their life by giving their stole to that person at the close of the ceremony.  For Glacier, graduation ultimately reflects the school’s values: grit and gratitude.         

Meet the finalists:

Bay High School | Bay St. Louis, MS
Cass Technical High School | Detroit, MI
Wilburton High School | Wilburton, OK

WINNER! Broken Arrow High School | Broken Arrow, OK
The heartbeat of every town is its high school. Broken Arrow is no exception. All Broken Arrow students are members of The Jungle student section. The Jungle cheers on the Tigers at athletic events, school plays, academic competitions, and more. Broken Arrow students explains, “Enthusiasm pushes us forward, and loyalty is what keeps us coming back for more every time one of our own accomplishes something great. We show up because we want our school to build people up.”

Meet the finalists: 

Bingham High School | South Jordan, UT
El Toro High School | Lake Forest, CA
Kahuku High School |  Kahuku, HI

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