Spirit Week festivities culminate in Fanatic Fest


Cristian Pang ’20 receives a crown from President and Head of School Rick Commons for winning the schoolwide TikTok competition. Credit: Caitlin Chung/Chronicle

Tessa Augsberger

Upper school students, faculty and staff gathered in Taper Gymnasium in an all-school assembly for Fanatic Fest Oct. 11.

Songs played by Drumline members welcomed students entering the gym, and Jake Schroeder ’20 and senior prefect Dahlia Low ’20 moderated the event, telling jokes and fun facts to the crowd.

Prefect Council organized new competitions and games for this year’s Fanatic Fest in addition to hosting annual Fanatic Fest traditions such as a performance by the Spirit Squad. Students, faculty and staff participated in the festivities, competing in games such as Spikeball, the “point/look” game and a hamster ball race.

TikTok winners announced at assembly 

At the end of the assembly, Low and Schroeder announced the winners of the TikTok competition in which the student that uploaded the funniest video to the social media app TikTok and tagged #FanaticFestHW won. Cristian Pang ’20 won the competition; his video has 851 views as of press time. Lucas Lee ’21 won second place, Mikey Schwartz ’22 earned third place, Gabriela Martinez-Celaya ’20 won fourth place and Shoshi Bernstein ’22 won fifth place.

Head prefect Michael Lehrhoff ’20 said in an email that Prefect Council had high expectations for this year’s Fanatic Fest.

“It was one of the most ambitious rallies we’ve had!” Lehrhoff said. “I think that we could have incorporated more of last year’s big hits like teacher performances, but with everything from HW Drumline and Spirit to kick us off to the massive hamster ball races to Mr. Commons crowning the TikTok champion, students seemed to have a blast.”

Students discuss school spirit 

Maddie Morrison ’22 said Fanatic Fest increased school spirit and fostered a sense of community.

“I definitely think it built a lot of community spirit and allowed everyone to come together as a group outside of the regular school day,” Morrison said.

Lehrhoff said Fanatic Fest this year saw an increase in school pride when compared to previous years due to the energetic Fanatics and a greater display of team spirit, in addition to school events designed to augment school pride.

“In years past, school spirit saw a decline in terms of event attendance and crowd participation,” Lehrhoff said. “However, this year has had a strong boost in spirit because of the reinvigorated and rowdy Fanatics section, teams dressing up on game days, as well as pep rallies like these,” Lehrhoff said.