The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Homecoming at Terrace!

For the Mountlake Terrace High School community, homecoming season is a time of extensive planning, from dinner preparations to setting up the hallways and organizing after parties. Some students even prefer the preparations over the actual dance because of the versatility of what can be done before and after it. For the 2023-2024 school year, the homecoming theme was “Imagination Destination,” which refers to imaginary fictional destinations in movies, and each class had a contributing movie theme. The seniors had “Gotham City,” juniors had “Super Mario Bros,” sophomores had “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and freshmen had the “Barbie” movie. 

Every year, after the homecoming theme is announced on Instagram, meetings in PASS are held in the theater to announce each grade’s hallway theme. From there, students meet after school for a week in the HUB to paint posters for their hallway. Students have lots of fun laughing, drawing, and painting decorations related to their themes. 

To enhance the experience, people ask each other out to homecoming through handmade posters and cute gifts. This is usually done one to two weeks prior to the dance, and it is typically concluded with a photo and/or video of the people who are attending homecoming together!

Another thing MTHS student body does to prepare for homecoming is dress up for spirit week! The most dedicated students dress to impress every day of spirit week based on the theme for that day. This year’s spirit week themes are “Opposite Day,” “Twin Day/Red and Green Day,” “Pink Out,” “Heroes versus Villains,” and “Class Colors.”

A big part of preparing for the big homecoming Dance is going to the football game the night before the dance and shredding your vocal chords to scream for the Terrace football team. This is typically the heart of homecoming because many students in MTHS gather at Edmonds Stadium to cheer our team on against the opposing team. A win against the opposing team can boost spirits to make the following night’s dance one to remember.

Image credit: Charli Gilchrist

A few hours before homecoming, friends gather by meeting at each other’s houses, prepping their outfits, makeup and hairstyles for the night. They can finalize everything by sharing a dinner together and taking pictures before the big dance event. 

The actual homecoming dance consists of a huge line in front of the school before doors open. And once the doors open, everyone rushes inside to begin the night. The dance happens in the school’s gym, and loud, booming music gets everybody moving. Homecoming gets everybody excited, not just students. Last school year, Dan Falk, one of our assistant principals, danced in the middle of a student-made circle! If students want to capture memories, there is a photo booth, located near the music hallway, where they can take photos with their friends to keep the night in their memories.

Every year, the cycle of preparations for homecoming repeats, but what about homecoming makes it such a special time for students, even above other dances such as the Spring Fling? A big part in homecoming’s appeal to students is the feeling that they have some “calm before the storm,” or some time where they can relax and enjoy themselves with their friends before their classes become intense and they get a constant barrage of schoolwork that consumes them whole. Focusing on planning dinners, activities, and get-togethers with your friends gives you a strange feeling of peace when homework starts to pile up.

Homecoming also amps up school spirit and community through established traditions from the 1900s. One of the first recorded homecoming events involved the University of Illinois’s football team, who used the support and community of their school at their game against the Chicago Maroons to break their losing streak against the team, establishing a tradition of homecoming games and events not only through colleges, but high school as well. Now, homecoming activities such as the big football game, spirit weeks, assemblies, and homecoming court and royalty provide an easy and established way for freshmen and new students to get invested into school spirit. These activities are so ingrained into American high schools that if you moved from another state and transferred to MTHS, you could participate in celebrating homecoming just like anyone else.

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It’s all too common for friends to be occupied with their other responsibilities from school, clubs, jobs, and other time consuming things, preventing them from making plans with each other to hangout. But don’t worry, because homecoming saves the day for struggling friend groups by giving them all a time and place to be where they can meet up and hang out as much as their heart desires! Homecoming does half the work of planning hangouts for you, so it’s no wonder that the tradition has survived over 100 years! For years to come, students will raid their wardrobes or go shopping for hours to get the perfect outfit for spirit days, labor away at posters and decorations to drape along the hallways of MTHS, and lose their voices at the homecoming game heckling the other team, or at the homecoming assembly screaming the lyrics to the assigned karaoke song for their grade. If they haven’t lost their voices and energy by then, dancing in the gym and shrieking the DJ’s playlist for three hours straight will take care of that. At the end of homecoming week, many memories are made through videos, photos from the photo booth, splattered paint everywhere, personal preparations, and much more.  

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About the Contributors
Ciara Constantino, Hawkeye Staff
Ciara Constantino joined HSM in 2022 to learn how to be a journalist and to expand her writing passion. Aside from journalism, she is in Key Club and Chamber Choir. During her free time she plays her instruments, mainly piano and guitar. She also reads, and her favorite book is “Patron Saints of Nothing” by Randy Ribay. Her favorite things to do are to drink boba, rewatch Disney/Nickelodeon shows from her childhood, nap, and sketch cartoons and album covers while listening to her playlists.
Efrata Solomon, Photo Editor
Efrata Solomon is a sophomore at MTHS and a first-year staff member of The Hawkeye. For her first year, she wants to improve her photography composition and editing skills while also working on all types of writing and advertising. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar, hiking, collecting vinyls, watching Regular Show, listening to music, and doing soul-crushing homework.
Charli Gilchrist, Graphics Editor
Charli Gilchrist joined HSM to learn more about journalism and continue from where they had left off in journalism from middle school. They have no specific role but hope to help out the paper with graphic design as much as they can. In their free time, they usually enjoy studying clouds, listening to music, and scrolling through Pinterest. They plan on going to a university of the arts after graduation, but for now they can enjoy contributing to the school paper.
Kaylee Miyamoto, Online Manager
Emmalee Harmon, Tempo Co-Editor-in-Chief
Emmalee Harmon joined HSM to make friends and because she enjoys photography and wanted to have more experience. In her role as photo editor, she strives to teach others how to use a camera and to use settings, editing, and angles to achieve interesting photos. Emmalee is also a setter in volleyball and plays the violin and cello.
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