Hayes welcomes the return of House


Noah Sparkman

Sugar Grove students gather outside for an ice cream social. Each house held individual ice cream socials throughout the first weeks of school to promote social interaction.

Noah Sparkman, Editor-in-Chief

After it was omitted from last year’s pandemic-influenced schedule, House is back at Hayes.
For students familiar with House, much of it will be similar. Most if not all of the events will remain the same. This will ensure that students will be able to participate in all of the activities that they had hoped to.
Those involved worked to ensure that this was the case, recognizing the legacy that past years of House have left.
“It’s tradition,” assistant principal Rex Reeder said. “[For example,] if I took out hula hoop and put in something else, people would go nuts because [hula hoop] is their event.”
However, this does not mean that House is not going to evolve this year. Many changes have come to the system that are all geared towards getting students interested again.
“We have one focus: student engagement,” Reeder said. “What you’re going to see is us trying to get up and get to know each other.”
The first of these changes is the movement of House to ninth period. While it used to be split across the two different lunch periods, every House now meets during the last period of the day.
“It’ll be a little different,” Reeder said. “All eight Houses will be together trying to get used to what House is all about: building relationships.”
The switch was inspired by the desire to have all of the Houses unified, and ninth period was chosen as the time that students would likely be most socially active.
In addition, clubs will be returning this year, albeit shortened to fit the 25-minute House period. The school is hoping that this will be another step forward for student engagement.
“Finding a club for somebody who’s maybe not as interested initially, that’s a big deal,” Reeder said. “We once didn’t have school on a Friday, and we had a kid upset because it was supposed to be club day.”
However, one of the most pronounced changes is how many students have never experienced House. With a new class of freshmen in addition to the sophomore class who lost House last year, half the school has never been in the House system.
Rather than a challenge, the teachers are looking at this as a positive, with seniors and juniors having the opportunity to lead the new students through the process.
“I see seniors as taking the lead in the process,” Reeder said. “I think getting some training will be great for them.”
While staff concede that this will likely impact the previously established dynamic of House, they believe that there is no cause to be alarmed.
“Everything has an effect,” Sugar Grove teacher John Scott said. “I think [underclassmen] will follow the lead of the seniors, though. It’s natural; you follow the people above you.”
With students now settling back into the rhythm of school, many are starting to turn their attention to House and are expressing their excitement to have it back.
“I am excited to have activities again in general,” senior Liam Waselko said. “Just being able to socialize with people again will be great.”
Ultimately, that seems to be the sentiment shared among staff and students. With everyone on board, the goal is now to provide an experience that everyone will cherish.
“I’ve had students, even from when I worked at New Albany, come back and say, ‘I won’t forget [House],’” Reeder said. “These are the days you will remember, so enjoy it.”