Franklin Towne Charter High School Named America’s Most Spirited High School; Vincent Hunter of Whitehaven High School Honored with Most Spirited Principal Award

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas, May 14, 2019 – Varsity Brands, the market leader in team sports, school spirit and achievement recognition, today announced the winners of the 4th Annual Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards, presented by BSN SPORTS, Varsity Spirit and Herff Jones and held on May 11th in Florida. The School Spirit Awards honor the very best of America’s high schools across 25 categories by recognizing outstanding schools, organizations and individuals that go above and beyond to build school pride, student engagement and community spirit. This year’s event was co-hosted by Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Laurie Hernandez and Pennsylvania-based teacher Richard Curtis, best known for his appearances as co-host on Live! With Kelly.

Franklin Towne Charter High School took home the title of America’s Most Spirited High School, as well as the $25,000 Grand Prize out of a total reward pool of $100,000. “Franklin Towne is not just a place where students come to learn; it is a home for so many of them – a place that makes our students feel safe, recognized and embraced,” said Jennifer Clement, Department Head of English at Franklin Towne Charter High School. “Our students embrace this school as a part of their lives and their community that goes well beyond science labs and math tests. It lies in the school spirit that exists here.”

“At Varsity Brands, we are dedicated to inspiring achievement and creating memorable experiences for young people, and the School Spirit Awards represents our signature event in this respect,” said Adam Blumenfeld, CEO of Varsity Brands. “These awards bring together the best of what we do at Varsity Brands’ three businesses: BSN SPORTS, Varsity Spirit, and Herff Jones and we’re honored to shine the spotlight on the people who exhibit personal, school and community pride in their schools and local communities.”

“Varsity Brands is proud to celebrate the motivated, engaged and passionate individuals who ensure that school spirit remains a priority in school communities,” added Nicole Lauchaire, Executive Director of the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards. “The award winners are unsung heroes and are absolutely essential to reinforcing the strong correlation between school spirit, involvement, achievement and self-confidence.  We are honored to recognize them and their positive contributions across the country.”

Ms. Hernandez concluded, “Through my gymnastics career, I’ve learned that it takes a village. From my coaches to fellow athletes to my fans, we get to the next level by working hard and supporting each other within our communities, just like those being recognized by the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards. It’s an honor to be surrounded by people who are dedicated to school spirit and achievement.”

Varsity Brands was inspired to introduce the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards after receiving a flood of exceptional entries for its America’s Most Spirited High School Contest in 2015. Varsity Brands’ research has affirmed a direct correlation between school spirit, community and school involvement, academic achievement and self-confidence. According to a Harris Poll and subsequent white paper published in 2014, for example, 92 percent of principals agree that high school spirit is tied to high academic achievement, and 90 percent of students with high levels of school spirit are more likely to be leaders.

Watch the full Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards Show on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, June 16 at 12:00 PM ET. The complete list of winners is below, as well as available on

2019 Varsity Brands School Spirit Award Winners

America’s Most Spirited High School
Franklin Towne Charter High School | Philadelphia, PA

Peyton Camden | Romeoville High School | Romeoville, IL

Athletic Director
Chris Hobbs | The King’s Academy | West Palm Beach, FL

Athletic Trainer
Alyssa Fredericks | Hopi Jr/Sr High School | Keams Canyon, AZ

Logan High School | Logan, OH

Matt English | Beech Grove High School | Indianapolis, IN

Community Service Project
Rio Rancho High School | Rio Rancho, NM

Game Day Experience
Bingham High School | South Jordan, UT

Rutland High School | Macon, GA

Isaac Powell | Hubbard High School | Hubbard, OH

Pep Band
Skyline Schools | Pratt, KS

Vincent Hunter | Whitehaven High School | Memphis, TN

School Counselor
Polly Vader | Piper High School | Kansas City, KS

School Tradition
Costa Mesa High School | Costa Mesa, CA

Spirit of Inclusion
Bingham High School | South Jordan, UT

Spirit of Sportsmanship
Rutland High School | Macon, GA

Spirit of St. Jude
Dutchtown High School | Prairieville, LA

Staff Member
Jeannie Fletcher | Worth County High School | Grant City, MO

Sarah Schaefer | North Stafford High School | Stafford, VA

Student Government
Chapin High School | Chapin, SC

William Husfelt | Bay District Schools | Panama City, FL

Stephanie Schweitzer | Canyon High School | Anaheim, CA

Team Manager
TJ Lovell | Winchester Community High School | Winchester, IN

Vista Ridge High School |Colorado Springs, CO

About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand; Varsity Spirit; and Herff Jones, a Varsity Achievement Brand.  Together, these assets promote personal, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams and corporations.  Through its 9,000 dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year via catalog, telesales, e-commerce sites and direct sales channels.