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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Spirit Week replaces Theme Week for the 2023-2024 school year

Anthony Huang
After executives Annie Han (‘24) and Jonathan Rosales-Cardenas (‘24) announced the seniors as the winners of both Spirit Week and Spirit Night, the class of 2024 came together in celebration and cheered with their trophy.

Webb recently said goodbye to its beloved Theme Week, but also used this opportunity to open new doors and usher in a new tradition: Spirit Week.  

As Webb becomes closer to initiating the transformation into a one-school model beginning in the 2024-25 school year, different members of the community have constantly been looking for ways to improve campus life. For student government and administration, one opportunity for reinvention was Theme Week.  

For the last 20 years, Webb has kicked off every school year with Theme Week to encourage class bonding. This week-long event consisted of dressing up in themed costumes, participating in games at lunchtime, planning skits and dances, and a friendly competition between different grades.  

Although this bonding experience was intended to build school spirit, members of administration believed the structure of the event should be reevaluated due to the controversy Theme Week became notorious for igniting. Last year was particularly eye-opening, as a fallout between the class of 2023 and the class of 2025 led to public arguments on STAS.  

Last Spring, student government had an urgent meeting to discuss ways to preserve the spirit from Theme Nights while preventing the drama it often brings. The WSC and VWS executives, Jonathan Rosales-Cardenas, Annie Han and Dean of Campus Life Ken Rosenfeld then created and proposed the plan for Spirit Week during the summer.  

“We wanted to keep the spirit events, dressing up and the unity dance but we wanted to make it more fair, transparent, and clean, which is what I think we’ve needed for a number of years,” said Mr. Rosenfeld. 

In the past, student government invited four faculty members to evaluate Theme Week skits and dances based on their personal opinion and interpretation. Judges received a 20-point rubric that assessed four areas: storyline, use of visual presentation, unity dance, and class spirit. 

Last year, teachers expressed dread for having to judge performances subjectively because students always felt that certain components were judged unfairly.  

“I don’t think it’s fun to evaluate, because everyone worked hard. Somebody is going to be disappointed no matter what, but it seemed to factor into animosity in the end,” said Dr. Lauren Hartle, former Humanities Department member.  

To reduce disappointment, student government decided to solely award Spirit Night points for class participation, rather than for the quality of the performances.   

Another significant difference between Theme Week and Spirit Week is the incorporation of theme. Theme Week assigned every class a different theme and gave the entire school an overarching theme; the skits are based off of each class’s unique theme and this overall theme.   

Student government decided that Spirit Week should have an overarching theme that will recur throughout the school year in other events. Despite the changes between the two events, one thing remains the same: Webb’s efforts to increase solidarity in the community. With this goal in mind, this year’s chosen theme is “Unity”. 

The most significant and shocking change, however, was the removal of the skit. The skit comprised of a 10-to-15-minute themed performance put together by script writers, dancers, and actors who portrayed characters or celebrities. This year, Spirit Night only consisted of a six-minute dance. 

Although no acting was allowed, the performance welcomed students to include singing, musical instruments, spotlights, and props. After each grade completed their dance, the competition concluded with an all-school unity dance, where each grade choreographed their own section to a song and the entire school danced to the same choreography at the end. 

In inviting the entire school to perform the same choreography, student government hoped that Spirit Night would incorporate more unity than Theme Night did. This year, the entire school danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.  

The removal of the skit was a decision made by administration and other adults on Webb’s campus upon seeing the growing challenges throughout the years. Mr. Rosenfeld specifically noticed that in the last several years, there had not been a smooth-running Theme Night that ended without hard feelings or upset students. Administration, however, wanted to keep the spirit and fun of Theme Week alive.  

Mr. Rosenfeld and members of Webb’s student government also observed the amount of stress that came about from the intense time commitment and significant student efforts. This year, they found that the new structure successfully minimizes this pressure and increases student involvement. 

“The time commitment for Spirit Night felt like a lot less in comparison to Theme Night so there was not as much pressure and stress this year,” Andrew Pan (‘25) said.  

“The dance was really fun and we got more participation than we have in the last few years,” said Jonathan Rosales-Cardenas, student government executive. “The skits were funny, but I saw that students were still able to be creative and incorporate humor into the dance.”   

As a result, Spirit Week and Spirit Night still allowed students to dress in their class colors, choreograph dances, and compete against each other without any room for subjective judging or the controversial portrayal of themes and characters that impacted past years’ skits.   

Although students and faculty will always cherish the memories from Theme Weeks, countless more are guaranteed to be made at Spirit Week and Night in the years to come.  

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About the Contributors
Jovana Luna
Jovana Luna, Chief of Features
Whether it’s her closest friends or her fellow classmates, everyone who knows her agrees that Jovana Luna ('24) is an unforgettable presence on Webb’s campus. As a Feature editor of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, she is keen on improving the publication by expressing her creativity through multimedia endeavors on the WCC website. Beyond her academic pursuits, she possesses a musical flair and has mastered the electric guitar over five years to serenade her friends and neighbors alike with songs such as "Bohemian Rhapsody". She is an avid fan of classic rock and Taylor Swift, her favorite artist. Attending a Taylor Swift concert over the summer has only deepened Jovana’s love of her music after her amazing experience. Jovana has been an avid dancer for the entirety of her life and enjoys performing even at Webb. During the summer, she had a bustling schedule working at Coldstone Creamery, but she never forgot to walk her beloved dog, Apollo, every morning. Now that she’s back at school, Jovana's weekends are filled with quality time spent with friends as they hang out and talk together.   Song: Long Live - Taylor Swift
Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke, Co-Editor of Culture and Lifetyle
Exemplifying a vibrant spirit, Olivia Cooke (‘24) enthusiastically indulges her multifaceted interests. With a soccer ball at her feet and a tennis racket in her hand, Olivia's passion for sports is unmistakable, whether she showcases her skills on the soccer field, the Webb soccer team, or the JV tennis court. Beyond the athletic arena, Olivia shines through her commitment to community service, driven by her mission to spread happiness and positivity. Olivia's passion for the thrill and chill extends beyond her love for Halloween movies and Stephen King's horror novels. This fascination can be seen in her love for crime documentaries, which provide her with insights into the legal system. Last year, Olivia joined the Webb debate team, showcasing her dedication to pursuing a career in law while combining her passion for horror and crime with her newfound interest in debate. As she lives with passion and a zest for exploration, Webb Canyon Chronicle provides her with a platform to express her voice and enrich the community with her dynamic perspectives.   Favorite song: Running with the Devil - Van Halen
Ray Kan
Ray Kan, Staff Writer
From the outside, Ray Kan (’24) is not your typical poet. A football player, social butterfly, and devoted younger brother, Ray enjoys spending time with unfamiliar faces and experiencing new things – part of the reason he is joining the Webb Canyon Chronicle during his senior year as a staff writer. Around campus, you will often find him at the center of an eclectic group of people, connecting different friend groups with his dry humor and playful energy. Ray plays this part of the easygoing extrovert perfectly, making a point to spend time with freshmen and pushing through the awkward moments that so often accompany first encounters. At his core, though, Ray is a poet. In a time when the media pushes the idea of poets and writers as shy, isolated, and anti-athletic, Ray manages to be both an integral part of Webb’s football team and an avid fan of Lorine Neidecker. His favorite genre of music is rap, because of the way its poetic lyrics intertwine with music and rhythm. His extroverted, lighthearted exterior belies a contemplative and deeply caring person, centered around philosophies of exploration and quiet dedication. This, if you talk to anyone who knows Ray, is what truly makes him extraordinary. He is multifaceted, his interests all-encompassing: poet, athlete, friend, sibling, musician, and now, journalist.  Favorite Song: "I'm Geekin" by DDG
Troy Seanoa
Troy Seanoa, Chief of Sports
If Troy Seanoa (‘24) got the chance to go on vacation at this moment, he would escape to Hawaii to soak up the sun. His laid-back attitude, mixed with a willingness to try something new, are what distinguish him as a friend and a journalist. When Troy is not on vacation, he shines on Faculty Field as a senior football team captain with years of rugby football experience under his belt. After the games are over, he can be found eating At Chili’s with friends, hanging out at his grandparents’ house, or relaxing on Sundays. Like an ocean breeze, Troy goes with the flow in any situation. Whether it is daily activities with his friends, exploring a vacation spot or catching up with his grandparents, Troy will always find enjoyment in whatever he decides to do. As a journalist, Troy channels his easygoing vibe in his articles, spanning a variety of sections ranging from sports to features. For the future, Troy wants to maximize productivity during the publication cycle to maximize relaxation on vacation. Favorite Song: "I'm Geekin" by DDG
Lauren Gutierrez
Lauren Gutierrez, Co-Editor of Culture and Lifetyle
A splash of pink paint on a black background – we are familiar with this Pink Panther intro – but to Lauren Gutierrez (‘25), this 32-second video has a special place in her heart. This clip is the intro to Lauren herself, an energetic artist who embodies Pink Panther’s curiosity. She is always ready for new adventures, creating unforgettable memories with friends and exciting concerts that inspire her art. Even when the performers are not on her playlist, or the item is one of a kind in the thrift store, she welcomes them to her eclectic collection. Sparkling with various genres and dazzling with tunes, Lauren’s playlist is no less colorful – SZA, Brent Faiyaz, Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift, Rosalía, etc. Constantly seeking to broaden her horizon, Lauren's summer at Groton Program for Intercultural Exchange Conference in Groton, Massachusetts, with Webb was an eye-opening experience that allowed her to hold meaningful conversations about social issues like security, AI, and culture preservation on a global scale. Joining the Webb Canyon Chronicle is not an exception to her exploration and creativity – Lauren looks forward to diving into the world of writing and exploring different journalistic skills as the Culture and Lifestyle editor.   Favorite Song: "90 Proof" by Smino (ft. J. Cole)
Berklee Antecol
Berklee Antecol, Co-Editor of Opinion
As a fashionista, Berklee Antecol (‘25) not only loves the design side of fashion but also the statistics. Although she wants to study economics or business in the future, Berklee also has a fascination with the fashion industry. Her personality is like a vibrant pink fabric in a mix of pastel colors. This gradient is carried through her experiences in the Webb community; wherever you are, she will stand out as a bright glow of energy and positivity. Like a seamstress selecting the right thread for the fabric, she works as an admission ambassador, introducing prospective students into the fabric of the Webb community. Yet Berklee's life is not just bold pink; she can settle into paler, calmer hues of pink as well. She loves to snuggle on the couch and click play on her favorite Netflix show, Gilmore Girls, or listen to calm music like Still Woozy to improve her homework efficiency. This year, as the Editor of Opinion, Berklee wants to jump into a fast-working mindset and to write and publish as many articles as she can. Like sewing haute couture, Berklee is always ready to go with fast quality work.   Song: I Feel Fantastic - Riovaz
Yuki Layman
Yuki Layman, Co-Editor of News
Having lived all around the globe from Shanghai, China, to Boston, Massachusetts, and most recently Washington D.C., Yuki Layman ('25) knows that home is where she makes it.! Yuki is an engaged student in all her classes, but it is her strong knowledge in Humanities that impresses her teachers. Especially, during her Advanced Studies Culture and Politics at the Border class, taught by one of her favorite teachers at Webb, Mr. Huerta. Yuki spends her free time in a variety of ways, either going to the village with friends or simply watching Top Boy, her personal favorite TV show that her brother highly recommended. Although she enjoys going out, she stays connected with her life back home by making sure to call her family every night. As well as staying up-to-date with current events, jumping into hot-topic debates with her lawyer dad and brother who is studying International Relations. Coming back to the Webb Canyon Chronicle this year as Editor of News, Yuki is ready to keep the Webb community informed accurately as a Jameson resident again, making Webb her home for the rest of year.   Favorite Song: "1539 N. Calvert" by JPEGMAFIA
Stratton Rebish
Stratton Rebish, Editor-in-Chief
Stratton Rebish (‘24) is a man of many titles. Holding positions as Head Peer Advisor, Editor-in-Chief of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, the founder and president of the Webb Thespian Group, Stratton is, “kind of a big deal around town,” according to him. But within these responsibilities, he has two main passions: football and theater. As a varsity defensive end and football captain, you might not immediately think of Stratton as a theater kid. A single conversation with Stratton will brighten your day with his bubbly and dramatic tones. His hysterical jokes come from his love of stand-up comedy and comics like Hasan Minhaj. As for sports, he is an avid New York sports fan; the New York Jets and Knicks will forever hold a special place in his heart, even when they disappoint him year after year. Aside from getting grilled for his poor sports team taste, he is a self-proclaimed “aspiring grill savant”. He aspires to be a grill dad and loves a Southeast Asian dish called Satay. And when you hear, “So guys, funny story, right,” be ready for Stratton’s theatrics, because he will always be in character, playin’ his role.  Favorite song: "Life" by Sérgio Mendes

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