Earnest pleased with show of spirit


Drew Evans

Assistant principal Jessica Earnest talks with Spotlight staffers Zoe Harris and Yanelis Rivera about school spirit.

Zoe Harris, staff writer

Jessica Earnest was a senior at Ben Davis when Purple Rain debuted.

Twenty years later, Earnest is an assistant principal helping bring back school spirit after a global pandemic slowed it down.

“I went to high school here and my senior class formed Purple Rain, 20 years later, it’s going strong,” Earnest said. “I remember the spirit that was in the building when I was a student here. I think this is the first time in a long time I’ve seen that spirit come back, because so many different groups of people are participating.

“Because Ben Davis is so big, sometimes leaders only speak to certain groups who are involved in certain things. I think our senior class officers were intuitive to the whole student body, and that kind of representation is important.” 

Earnest enjoyed seeing students participate in sporting events, but was equally as pleased with the return of a homecoming event and prom.

“I think the pandemic’s taught us a lot of things,” she said. “Some things that we took for granted in the past we now realize are privileges, like dances and spirit days, and being all together. That day was so successful because of our senior class officers.”

Earnest will not commit to the return of pep rallies next year, but she also didn’t close the door on that possibility.

Pep rallies are important, because they are a way to bring students together, but the hard thing about pep rallies is that they affect instructional time,” Earnest said. “I’m really looking forward to hearing from our future senior class officers and the ideas they have.”

Earnest also cites the more than 30 students running for next year’s senior officers as evidence that spirit is alive.

We have the most number running for senior class officer than we have had in a long time,” she said. “What we’ve told our students running is that Ben Davis is unique because we have so many different positions.

“That being said, just because you are not a senior class officer does not mean you cannot be a leader in our building. Senior class officer is just one of the many different positions available. Bringing unity with all the groups and having representation helps us to work together for the same goals.”