Best Spirit in America


Martin-Trainor Jami

Seniors showing their cougar spirit at the fall pep assembly by cheering on their class. Photo by Haylee Brewer.

Maggie Talbott-Malone, Writer

1800 Kennedy students dressed in green and gold, crammed into the fluorescently lit gym for this year’s first pep assembly. Their goal; the spirit stick. 

At last year’s spring pep assembly, the seniors walked away with their heads held high after a triumphant win. They entered the gym at the beginning of the 2019 school year wanting to make a habit of their win.

The incentive of a pep assembly is to win “spirit stick points” during various activities and games. The class who carries the most points by the end is awarded the spirit stick. The activities get competitive and rowdy as each class goes above and beyond to become the new champion.

Pep assemblies are one of the most iconic features of Kennedy High School. From incoming freshman to students from other schools, Kennedy pep assemblies are known by many throughout the Cedar Rapids area. 

”I’ve heard a lot about how the pep assemblies are always really ‘peppy’. There’s a lot of spirit.” said, Alyssa Baugh, a freshman.  

Pep assemblies take hours of prep, especially at the beginning of the school year. There’s help from tech crew, and new ideas from the student government.

Aaron Stecker, activities director at Kennedy, has been organizing the pep assemblies for about 14 years. He does a great amount of planning for the event, as well as being the main announcer during the event. 

“They’re long days and they’re busy. There’s times I’m like “Ugh, do we really have to do a pep assembly right away?” But when you get out there on the floor and everyone’s excited you feel that cohesiveness and that kind of collective ‘we’re in this together’ and that’s what kind of turns it around and makes it all worth it.”