The American School Spirit Awards, the premier award for cheerleading and dance teams, has officially joined the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards family as The Spirit Leader Awards
. The Spirit Leader Awards will honor one cheer team and one dance team with an ongoing commitment to community service, outstanding school athletic support, creative spirit raising activities and strong academics.
Meet the winner and finalists:
*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.
Big Walnut High School | Sunbury, OH
At Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio, the cheerleaders “strive to instill tradition, honor, commitment and pride in [their] teams and in each other.” The team collaborates with the school’s student section, the RAGE CAGE, and plays an integral role in Big Walnut’s homecoming festivities.
Copper Hills High School | Copper Hills, UT
At Copper Hills High School in Utah, the cheerleaders’ spirit is unmatched. The team is actively involved in the community and prides itself on creating an incredible game day atmosphere, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Assistant principal Glen Varga writes, “The cheer team deserves recognition, commendation and our sincerest gratitude for their commitment, hard work, resilience and spirit. They are beautiful in every way and make others feel the same.”
Hidalgo Early College High School | Hidalgo, TX
At Hidalgo Early College High School in Texas, the cheerleaders are both school and community leaders. This year, the team hosted their sixth annual Cancer Awareness Spirit Week and took part in the “Be Bold Be Bald” campaign, wearing bald caps in support of those battling cancer.
Kittatinny Regional High School | Newton, NJ
The cheerleading team at Kittatinny Regional High School in New Jersey centers on unity. Their mission states, “If you see someone in trouble, you owe it to them, the team, yourself and the community at large to help them to the best of your ability.” The team carries this philosophy in everything they do, from game day traditions to volunteer service.
Pendleton Heights High School | Pendleton, IN
The cheerleading team at Pendleton Heights High School embodies integrity, respect and teamwork. The team is actively involved with Best Buddies, Susan G. Komen and local “Christmas in Pendleton” initiatives to provide for families in need. The team maintains high academic standards, with a third of the team acting as members of the National Beta Club.