The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

Students+in+the+Jaguar+Leadership+Corps+play+a+critical+role+in+the+school+and+community
By Jules Shumaker

Students in the Jaguar Leadership Corps play a critical role in the school and community

From theme nights to community service, JLC embodies school spirit

Push-up-boards, hot dog races and the crowning of the most spirited Jag have earned the school its position as one of the most spirited high schools in the state, according to the Student Section Report. Spirit is a critical part of the school’s culture. With student government, athletics and clubs giving students the opportunity to get involved, there are plenty of ways to show spirit. However, one group stands out from the rest not only in their contributions to student sections, but also to pride in the Mill Valley community. The Jaguar Leadership Corps (JLC) is a class dedicated to increasing spirit in the community.

Committed to community

By Jules Shumaker

Many of the school’s traditions, fundraisers and events are orchestrated by the students in JLC. Various committees devoted to media, spirit and community service ensure that every activity is supported by the school.

Junior Aiden Lehr is present at almost every game throughout the year and organizes many of the halftime events, including the crowning of the most spirited student.

“I’m in the spirit committee, so we plan events like the hot dog races and halftime performances,” Lehr said. “We bring the spirit stick to every single game like a basketball game and I give it to somebody who was the most spirited that day. Really, we just try to embrace all the spirit that Mill Valley already has.”

One long standing tradition that JLC organizes are theme nights like blackout, USA, or country club at games. According to Lehr, these spirit nights help get people to games to support their team.

“With our audience, they like to dress up with their friends and they want to match,” Lehr said. “It brings more people there because they want to be a part of that. Sometimes the game is not what it’s all about. The spirit days get people more excited about what’s about to come.”

JLC’s activities contribute significantly to making the school a supportive community, according to senior Claire Moberly.

“[JLC]  just makes everything more fun,” Moberly said. “It makes the kids that are doing the sports feel cared for and it makes going to games more fun for everyone.”

Additionally, JLC is involved in Chick-fil-A’s leadership program. The program includes tasks that help improve JLC’s community impact, according to JLC teacher Erin Hayes. 

“Starting this year, we partnered with Chick-fil-A and we’re now part of Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy which probably not very many people know about,” Hayes said. “We do monthly lessons and then we’ve had different tasks every month for the Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy, and it’s culminating with our impact project.”

[JLC students] do a lot that people see but they also do a lot of stuff that people don’t see

— Lauren Stringer

While it’s well known that JLC organizes spirit nights, they do more behind the scenes than most people know, according to Moberly.

“Most people don’t know that we do any community service at all,” Moberly said. “We go to elementary schools and we help those kids out and our pickleball tournament is helping our Student Care Fund.”

The pickleball tournament is advertised to students as a chance to win various gift cards during the competition. According to JLC teacher Lauren Stringer, the tournament is much more than that.

“[JLC students] do a lot that people see but they also do a lot of stuff that people don’t see,” Stringer said. “For our pickleball tournament, we’re obviously raising school spirit by having people come to the pickleball tournament, but behind the scenes all the money that’s being raised and donated is going to a Student Care Fund for students who may be facing financial hardship or encountering obstacles that hinder their ability to fully engage in their education.”

By Jules Shumaker

The impact project that JLC is organizing this year in their partnership with Chick-Fil-A is the set up of an anonymous student care fund, which can be used to request items like backpacks, groceries or clothing.

“We thought it was important to give back to our own community and our own students and just find a way to support them,” Hayes said. “It’ll be a fund where [students] can request what they need and then we’ll put it together and get it into the student’s hands.”

Ahead of the crowd

While everyone in the school plays a part in showing school spirit through events like blue-bomb or doing community service, only the most dedicated can join the Jaguar Leadership Corps.

About 70 students apply for the class each year, including juniors who have already been admitted. According to Stringer, the candidates must show their qualification through Flipgrid videos, essays and even an interview with herself, principal Dr. Gail Holder and assistant principal Marilyn Chrisler.

I wanted to make sure I showed that I valued helping others and doing things not just for your own good, but for the benefit of other people

— Senior Abby Wolfe

“In addition to StuCo, JLC is some of the top leaders in the school,” Stringer said. “It’s a really long process for them to get accepted into JLC.”

It’s more than just the application that qualifies students for JLC, according to Stringer.

“[JLC students’] teachers can say ‘yes, the student’s a leader in the classroom,’” Stringer said. “They’re not only following directions but they’re being a leader in their classes and being a leader in their sports and activities. They have to be someone that really cares about bettering others and bettering the community.”

Getting into JLC is a difficult process for good reason. With everything that the group does for the school, those who join have to be ready to work, according to Lehr.

“What makes a good JLC member is somebody who’s really wanting to help the school out,” Lehr said. “I’m in the spirit committee so I have to bring as much spirit to every game as I can. There’s a lot of little things that you need to really work hard on.”

Not only does it take hard work and dedication to lead school spirit, but according to Stringer it also takes a certain kind of confidence.

“It takes a lot for our students to get in front of the student body at an assembly or game. I don’t even want to do that and I think the fact that they can is very telling.”

Senior Abby Wolfe, who has been in JLC for two years, believes that the traits she demonstrated in her interview are what got her into the class.

“I think the answers that got me in highlighted my personality traits,” Wolfe said. “I think that my communication skills, my willingness to work with others and my ability to work well with anyone really helped me. Even if there’s challenges along the way I’m able to overcome them.”

Not only did Wolfe emphasize her skills as a leader, she also highlighted the values she holds that JLC strives to represent.

“In my junior year we did a blanket project for Children’s Mercy kids and I tied that into my interview,” Wolfe said. “I wanted to

make sure I showed that I valued helping others and doing things not just for your own good, but for the benefit of other people.”

More than a class

At its core, JLC is an organization that’s dedicated to bettering the school wherever it’s needed. Their work encourages spirit for the school not just in the student body, but also in the community that the school is a part of.

Because of JLC’s social media committee, the community is well informed on the details about upcoming events at the school. Wolfe believes that JLC’s social media presence is what allows them to reach the community best.

By Jules Shumaker

“I think it’s important that we have a big social media presence because Instagram is probably one of the top apps that people use,” Wolfe said. “When you share something on Instagram more people see it, and it’s not just within our school, it’s other people in our district. I think that’s important because what JLC is about is raising school spirit. That gets more people to games, it gets more people to come to concerts. [Social media] gets more people to come to events that we’re building here.”

According to Lehr, showing up to games and events can have a bigger impact on the community than people might consider.

“Spirit makes Mill Valley more of a community and it really shows at sporting events when we have a lot of school spirit, sometimes the teams play better,” Lehr said. “For example when we have a great student section, the basketball players are having a great time so they’re shooting shots that sometimes they wouldn’t if there was a small crowd.”

Moberly agrees that showing up to events at the school make those participating feel more supported by their community.

“Having school spirit at events just makes everything more fun,” Moberly said. “It makes the kids that are doing the activity feel cared for.” 

For Lehr, part of JLC is making sure that the support he and the football team get during their season is reciprocated for other

By Jules Shumaker

sports.

“I feel like the support keeps returning,” Lehr said. “For football players, everyone comes to our games so then we go to the

volleyball games, soccer games and anything that we could to go support the people who support us.”

From small posts on social media to large charity projects, JLC is a critical piece of maintaining spirit all year round. It can be the small things that are the most important, according to Lehr.

“I’d say JLC increases pride for our school,” Lehr said. “Really everyone comes together for those little things like the basketball games. Everyone comes together to support their fellow Mill Valley students.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Zwahlen
Anna Zwahlen, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Anna Zwahlen’s second year on the JagWire newspaper staff. She is thrilled to be one of the new Editors In Chief of the JagWire and Mill Valley News. Anna is also involved in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Scholars Bowl, GSA and is co-president for Youth for Refugees. Outside of school, Anna loves to read and spend time with her friends, as well as listen to new music and watch her favorite TV shows and movies between her work as a barista.
Ian Chern
Ian Chern, JagWire copy editor
This is junior Ian Chern’s second year on the JagWire staff. This year he is taking up the role of copy editor along with writer and photographer. Outside of school, Ian enjoys watching sports, listening to music, playing basketball and soccer, volunteering at food banks and spending time with friends and family. He is also a member of NHS, Science Olympiad and likes to participate in Relay for Life.
Jules Shumaker
Jules Shumaker, JagWire editor-in-chief
This is senior Jules Shumaker’s third year on the JagWire staff and they are excited to take on the role of editor-in-chief for the JagWire this year. Outside of journalism, they are a part of NHS, Spanish NHS, Art NHS, English NHS, and are on the CTEC Student Advisory Board. Jules spends their free time drawing, painting and reading, all while usually listening to loud music, as well as watching shows on Netflix. They are looking forward to another great year on staff.

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