Why does LHS hide its school pride?


If you were to walk down the halls of Larned High School on a daily basis, you might observe a hallway decorated with posters that are outdated and reused. You may hear people saying negative things in the halls, and you may observe very few posters celebrating the school’s accomplishments. You might also notice that the trophy cases near the northeast entrance look long forgotten. Additionally, you may note that the track records haven’t been accurately updated in years. All of these are minute details that, when added together, contribute to a less-than-stellar sense of school pride.

A school’s two main sources of pride are typically its past and its athletic programs. If a school has a record of having an impressive athletic program, then odds are, its students have more pride. One way of maintaining this sense of accomplishment is to make sure that it is remembered. This can be done by updating and renovating trophy cases and making sure that athletic records are kept up to date. The LHS trophy cases certainly aren’t horrible, but they may not be up to par. Mr. Keith, an alumni and teacher at LHS said, “While the trophy cases are a small thing, I do believe that they are a reflection of our school pride, which I would like to see improve. Those trophy cases haven’t changed since I was a student at Larned High School.” Keeping the trophy cases up to date and changing their style more often is more likely to catch the eyes of students and remind them of their school’s accomplishments. Changing the trophy cases is no easy task, but neither is earning the awards that are displayed within.

A survey was recently sent out to LHS students asking about school pride. The survey received 49 responses. 28 students who responded said that they were proud to go to Larned, and the remaining 21 said that they were not. While this may seem like a good ratio, there is always room for improvement. Students who responded to the survey were asked what they thought could be done to improve the student experience at Larned, and a variety of responses were given. One student stated, ”We need to continue doing what we are doing as far as things like pep club, yearbook, and newspaper to help build school spirit.” Many other students who responded said that they didn’t know what needed to be done. LHS may not be perfect, but we are taking steps in the right direction.

Every morning, daily announcements are made over the school intercom about various things. Occasionally, sport and extracurricular victories are announced, but this isn’t incredibly common. Imagine how students would feel if their accomplishments were consistently recognized by their school and their peers. This would contribute to a student body that has more pride in what they do because they would be celebrated when they perform well. That is not to say that LHS doesn’t acknowledge student accomplishments, but a better job could be done to recognize all extracurricular successes. 

James Kingsbury, a Junior at LHS, told us what he thinks Larned is doing right: “I believe that one thing Larned is doing correctly to encourage school pride is the yearbook TikTok page.” The LHS Yearbook class is one of a few Larned classes that has a social media presence that spotlights some of the things going on in the high school.

Isabella Bailey, an LHS sophomore, expressed what she believes can be done to improve school spirit. “Something that we could do to further increase school spirit would be to host more after-school events. Things like the coffee houses or back-to-school celebrations that are open to the entire student body.” There are currently only two coffee houses hosted per year. But, hosting more coffee houses is a possibility, and it may even increase school spirit.

While LHS has much room for improvement, the changes don’t have to be noticeable or immediate. We can start small, with things like fixing the trophy cases and adding newer posters in the halls. Eventually, these small changes will add up and create a more positive atmosphere. School pride isn’t something that can be changed solely by altering the physical atmosphere of the school. Being proud of your school is a mindset. This change has to be led by LHS students, and it will no doubt take lots of time and effort. But LHS students are well equipped to handle challenges, if the students want to improve school spirit, they can and will.