The Return of Headmaster’s Day


   Coming out of winter break, world language teacher Kyle McGimsey, senior Thomas Lightsey, and the rest of the student council came together to discuss one of the most important events at Trinity Prep: Headmaster’s Day. It had been two years since they last planned a Headmaster’s day and at the time, the World Health Organization reported that COVID-19 cases have risen for a fifth consecutive week with 3.8 million cases the previous week. In the face of uncertainty, one thing was clear, the student council was not going to go two years in a row without Headmaster’s Day.

   This past week finally gave students a small taste of normal life at Trinity Prep. Although it didn’t come in the form of walking around campus without a mask or six feet apart, the concept of Headmaster’s Day means more to Trinity Prep students than simply a day off of school. 

   “I think it’s a really important tradition,” Lightsey said. “It’s one of the few opportunities where our class could get together and work on a common thing because we’ve had so many things change this and last year because of COVID.”

   But the planning behind the event was no easy process. The student council wanted to have a full game plan on what they wanted to do by spring break, meaning they had around two to three weeks to fully prepare. 

   “There was a lot of uncertainty like ‘Are social distancing regulations going to stay the same as they are in April?’” McGimsey said. “We really didn’t know so making multiple plans of attack to come at different eventualities might have been helpful.”

   The student council had to reflect on the past year’s Headmaster’s day and determine what went right and what went wrong. While popular events like Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball relatively remain the same, other events that received negative feedback are either tweaked or replaced. 

   This year, the popular Super Smash Bros Competition had to be cancelled because it was an event that needed to occur indoors. Other events like the pie eating contest and the seatbelt challenge also had to be removed for sanitary reasons. However, this Headmaster’s Day also saw the introduction of a new event in chalk art. 

   The biggest method of approach the student council took was to change the schedule of Headmaster’s Day that saw the middle school students come in the morning, while the upper school students attend during the afternoon. While this idea did open the campus up for more room, it also paved the way for the sun to shine through. In fact, according to Time and Day, the temperature that day remained at 90 degrees from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

   “I think we could’ve done it with middle school because it was pretty brutal being out in the heat at noon,” Lightsey said. “[And] just based off of where we usually did the events, we could have done it at the same time.”

   However, the biggest obstacle the student council faced was attendance. Unlike other years where they could have formed an estimate on how many students would attend, this year proved to be troublesome for them to decide. 

   “Normally you can say ‘well 75% of the grade would attend’ but this year it could have been 10 it could have been 110, we had no idea,” McGimsey said. “We wanted to have a right number where there are enough spots for people that want to participate but not making it unmanageable.”

   Although they had no mechanism to calculate the exact number of attendance, students that attended noticed fewer participants than previous years. 

   “The last time it happened, pretty much everyone went but this year it was really small, especially from 10th grade,” sophomore Sreekar Nagulapalli said. “I think it was about 30 out of 130 in [10th] grade.”

   This uncertainty became even more problematic when deciding the right number of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice to order. Ultimately, they ended up ordering 600 servings but according to McGimsey, a good number of those still remain.

   While this year’s Headmaster’s Day did see its setbacks, it paved the way for new ideas and concepts to come in. The idea of splitting the middle school and high school class allowed for the full usage of the football field and the practice field, rather than just having access to one. But most importantly, the students that attended got to walk away from the event with more than a good time with their friends, more than a taste at Jeremiah’s, but a strong sense of school spirit, a day full of exciting competition, and everlasting memories of high school.

   “Honestly, it was still really exciting. It was the first time I could compete in high school and the events were more hardcore and you could really compete,” Nagulapalli said.

   Additionally, this year’s seniors got the opportunity to compete in the notorious rope pull competition against the juniors, something last year’s seniors missed out on.

   “I think it was really special to us where we essentially did the rope pull twice and won twice because we never got that tradition of going across the river, so we did it the senior way and we did it our way,” Lightsey said.

   On a day that is special enough to Trinity Prep students, this year’s Headmaster’s day means more to saints than any other year. The day is a symbol of the time student council had to put in to plan the event, a chance for students to reconnect with one another on the field rather than in the class, and a day that proves that not even a virus can stop the school spirit at Trinity Prep.