CHS King and Queen were crowned and their Homecoming Court were recognized during the school’s Spirit Week kickoff. In the front row are Homecoming King Damien Johnson (left) and Homecoming Queen Jayla Sussix. Back row from left to right are: Caymon Rodgers, Sydnee McGhee, Cartier Burton, Dannica Davis, Amiliyah Poe, Jimmy Gilmore and Fred Morris.EAST ST. LOUIS - Spirit Week at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) only added to students’ excitement of being back in classes – in person.

“We are elated to have our scholars back in person,” said CHS Director Gina Jeffries, EdD. “We started classes Aug. 16, and because we wanted to keep the momentum going, we offered our Spirit Week a little early this year.”

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“CHS Spirit Week is an opportunity for students to build their community through various activities, thus providing attendance surges and grade improvements,” said Liza Cummings, PhD, CHS STEM instructional coordinator.

CHS began its Spirit Week Monday, Sept 20 with a kickoff celebration of the CHS Homecoming King and Queen and their court. Crowned were seniors Damien Johnson and Jayla Sussix. The Homecoming Court consisted of seniors Fred Morris and Amiliyah Poe, juniors Jimmy Gilmore and Brandy White, sophomores Cartier Burton and Dannica Davis, and freshmen Caymon Rodgers and Sydnee McGhee.

The Homecoming Court was applauded by CHS students and staff, decked in the colors of red, white and black to show their school pride. Everyone marched around the campus with a parade to indicate the beginning of Spirit Week. The CHS Homecoming Court led the parade processional, created by Shawn Roundtree, CHS Social Worker.

Tuesday, Sept. 21 was College/Sports Day and students and staff came to school adorned in jerseys and shirts representing their favorite sports teams. They also competed in the virtual game of Booklet regarding sports teams. “I’m happy to be here and to participate in Spirit Week,” said Chaquana Gomiller, CHS senior, dressed in her father’s North Carolina Black Panthers NFL jersey.

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“It’s fun to see how everyone approaches the different days,” said CHS senior Nathaniel Brewster, dressed in a CHS jersey. “I don’t watch sports and don’t have a need to keep any sports attire around.”

However, Brewster said he does have several favorite college choices: Morehouse College, Florida A&M University, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. “I just don’t have any of their shirts at the present.”

Other days of Spirit Week included:

  • Wacky Wednesday, Sept. 22 – Students touted their most strange threads to reveal their “wacky” side. Students also competed in an outdoor egg race.
  • Throwback Thursday, Sept. 23 – Students will reminisce on times that made them smile and sport those clothes they thought they would never wear again or borrowed items from an era of their choice. Students will also compete in a virtual game of identifying staff members’ high school photos.
  • Homecoming Fest Friday, Sept. 24 – Scholars will rock the t-shirt that represents their graduating class and enjoy a battle of the classes in a series of field game activities. The winning class will receive a lunch party provided by Stan Williams Jr. of Equitable Advisors in St. Louis.

Prizes were awarded throughout the week.

“We work from the framework of a family at the CHS, and the staff wants to see our school continue to grow and become better,” said Cummings. “This week gives us an opportunity to carry on our traditions and add to them.”

The SIUE Charter High School is a school-of-choice for families in the East St. Louis School District 189. The mission of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School is to prepare students who are career- and college-ready upon graduation. To achieve this mission, the school and its staff will positively impact the educational and economic lives of East St. Louis, Illinois youth through individualized instruction in core academic subjects, exploration of career interests and aptitudes, assistance in realizing students’ talents, high academic goals, and expectations that graduates will become competitive employees for the 21st century.

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