Students lined up, waiting to have their photos taken at First Friday on Sept. 3. (Photo courtesy of Josh Smith)
Students lined up, waiting to have their photos taken at First Friday on Sept. 3. (Photo courtesy of Josh Smith)

School Spirit is Reborn during the First Friday of the Year

September 10, 2021

Catchy music, dancing, and theatrical costumes …  students dressing up, the air full of excitement, a sense of community …

On Sept. 3 outside the cafeteria, the first First Friday celebration brought spirit and fun to the lunch break. About 70 students lined up to participate in a posed photoshoot. Friend-groups came together to represent their classes, create memories and bond with those they knew best. Some observed from a distance while others clustered around the photo booth to watch their friends pose and smile.

The Electives Department launched First Friday, a new event that is planned to be held every first Friday of the month during lunch, to awaken school spirit and unity and to highlight electives activities and spark interest among students.

Photography teacher Josh Smith and Drama teacher Amy Conners kicked off the event by hosting a photoshoot where students were photographed posing in costumes of their choice. Josh shot the photos and Amy provided the costumes and props for the photoshoot, while Band and Choir teacher Jansen Verplank provided a special tech system for music.

Senior Judge Cantrell worked as the MC and DJ of the event.

Seniors Chris Escalante. Judge Cantrell, JP Aguilar and Aliah Ruiz holding up sign 2022 to represent their class. Photo courtesy of Josh Smith

“Especially after Covid, it’s cool to be able to go out and have a good time with your friends,” Judge reflected afterwards. “While it is hard work that we do here at Eastside, it’s also really important to have fun and have a good time so you don’t get too overwhelmed with everything.”

In previous years at Eastside, the arts and performance electives would usually showcase their work at the end of each semester. This year, the Electives teachers decided to host First Fridays with different electives taking the lead each time.

Art teacher Linda Filo prompted the idea of ‘First Friday’ during an Electives Department meeting before school started.

“I think it will put everyone in high spirits,” she said. “You could be meeting new people in a stress-free, safe environment where you won’t have to feel so confined to being outside.”

Kianne (middle) with her senior friends, Victoria Zaragoza, Sarai Wagner, Indira Villeda and Maya Saams-Hoy- Photo courtesy of Josh Smith

Senior Kianne Ferrer enjoyed the way she was able to have her friends’ presence during this event and have all the Eastside community together in person again.

“I like how everybody is getting involved and actually participating in the photo booth because I saw at the beginning, everyone was a little hesitant,” she said. “But then, as soon as us senior girls, we hopped in, everybody started coming, and all the energy started coming through.”

Overall, most students participating in the photoshoot enjoyed the music, and the excitement was evident all around campus. Those who did not participate and were timid but hope to participate in events to come. Although the next “host’ is to be determined, the main drive for the event will once again be to spark creativity, unity, and spirit among students.

What will come next First Friday?

“We will see you all in October,” Judge said, as he closed the event.


Here’s a gallery of students posing from different years, taken by Josh Smith


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