Spirit Stick Honors Class Participation


Phillip Morales, Freshmen Class advisor, and Sammy Kea, Freshmen Class President, hold the Spirit Stick after their class’ win in the Penny War competition.

At Nānākuli High and Intermediate School, the Spirit Stick is an award presented to a grade level class that wins a school competition.

There are multiple chances for a class to receive the Spirit Stick during the school year. From Homecoming activities to quarterly Spirit Week activities, every class competes to earn the right to own the Spirit Stick during the year.

But the main goal for every class is to win the Spirit Stick at the end of the year and be crowned Class of the Year.

Student Activities Coordinator, Robin Kitsu knows that while the class advisors and some student council students know about the Spirit Stick, he found that some staff members at NHIS thought it was not real.

“One of the humorous stories is that some teachers actually thought it was a joke until I posted a picture. They were like ‘Oh my gosh, there is an actual, spirit stick!’ So I think we have to do a better job at publicizing that we have a Spirit Stick and that it represents the winning class,” said Kitsu.

“I love the idea of a Spirit Stick and all but maybe people don’t care about it because it is literally just a stick with a ribbon on it,” said senior Nele Kaopua.

Kitsu could not recall when the Spirit Stick was created but knows it has been in existence for at least the last 6 years.

“The spirit gives each grade level an opportunity to work toward winning it.  This shows your class spirit and unity,” said Class of 2021 advisor Lorna Mandac.

Kitsu realizes that part of the challenge for the NHIS Student Council is to get more students to participate in activities and is hoping the goal of winning the Spirit Stick can motivate students.

“One idea was actually housing the spirit stick in a display case in A building. We would post the story of the Spirit stick and have that posted as well as a photo and the name of the grade level that currently owns it. Housing it in a teacher’s room and nobody sees it but if you have it in the display case, the hope is that it would encourage more spirit. This grade did a good job on encouraging school spirit and class spirit,” said Kitsu.

Many of the competitive activities are participation based such as dress-up days or bringing in canned goods.

“A lot of our competitions is not a skill base but it’s just participation. Like, we don’t judge the costume dress-up days. It doesn’t matter how elaborate your costume is or who has the best costume, but it’s just to see if you dressed up,” said Kitsu.

Currently, the Freshmen Class are holding the Spirit Stick after winning the Penny Wars competition which was a fundraiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

The next competition for the Spirit Stick will be given to the class that wins the Song Award at the 29th Annual Songfest competition on March 7.