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Homecoming re-imagined

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Students dressed as cowboys and aliens peered from windows and waved from the sidewalk as a parade of cars drove past Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Potomac Shores Oct. 23. It was the culmination of spirit week, and the seniors were driving cars festooned with balloons and congratulatory messages written in the school colors of green and white as their peers cheered them on. 

Around this time every year, the school is abuzz with homecoming festivities. There’s hallway decorating, a pep rally, a homecoming football game and a homecoming dance. But John Paul the Great, as with other high schools, had to pare down the fun and games to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. The school currently has a hybrid in-person and virtual model where only half the students are in the building at a time. The football season has been pushed to the spring. 

But the community stayed spirited by keeping a homecoming court and dress-up days with themes such as Disney, Hawaiian, mismatch and cowboys versus aliens. The school also added the brief, outdoor senior parade. Though many students were learning from home that day, seniors dropped by to drive in the parade.

“It’s a different year,” said junior Luke Adgei. “I miss going to the dance with my friends and enjoying the time around them. I’m grateful at least we have the opportunity to have a parade to make us feel like part of the school.” Adgei’s favorite day was when he dressed up as Winnie the Pooh. “I feel he describes my personality,” said Adgei. 

After the parade, members of the homecoming court processed from the school entrance to the platform around the flagpole. Seniors Lucy Wittman and Jack Doty were crowned queen and king by Dominican Sister Ann Dominic Mahowald, assistant principal of student life and discipline. “The real queen is Mary and the real king is Christ,” said Wittman, a student in the special needs Options program. “All I have to say is give God the glory.”



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

@ZoeyMaraistACH