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2012 American School Spirit Award Winners

Congratulations to all the cheerleading squads who submitted an entry for the American School Spirit Awards. There were so many creative and unique entries this year and it is wonderful to see the enormous amount of spirit raising and community service cheerleading teams have done over the past year. 

For teams to enter the American School Spirit Award, squads had to submit a book to UCA. In their book, they included a letter of recommendation from their principal, athletic director or community leader, show one or two community service projects/charity work events involving the squad, describe two of their most successful spirit raising activities, list their most notable academic awards/honors, and include a couple of interesting facts about their team.

The American School Spirit Award recognizes the top all-around programs in the country. When choosing a winner, UCA looks for teams that exemplify community service, outstanding athletic support, spirit raising activities, and high academic standards.

After reading and looking through all of the application books submitted, UCA has finally narrowed it down to the final programs. Stay tuned to find out who else won!

9th Place

Newtown High School-Sandy Hook, Connecticut 

  • After Hurricane Sandy affected their community, they spent 24 hours passing out clean water to the community.

  • Developed the “Cheer for Chow” campaign to raise money for animals in need by making and selling homemade dog treats.

  • Over 75 % of the team is currently on the honor role

  • Teamed up with a rival high school to cheer on the “Dig Pink” Volleyball Game together

8th Place

Legacy High School- Broomfield, Colorado 

  • Raises school spirit by placing “what time is it signs” around every clock each Monday to inform to student body of different activities going on. It is a huge success since everyone looks at the clock!

  • Created a school spirit group called the “Olympians.” These students learn the cheers and help get the student body pumped up for each game!

  • Supports every single sport and activity at their school, including tennis, drama, and choir!

7th Place

Longwood High School- Middle Island, New York 

  • Developed a state wide award winning program called Lion’s P.A.W (Positive Athletic Works) that gets the word out to thousands of people in the community about events coming up. This program also encourages athletes to participate in community service throughout the community.

  • Participates in Lion’s R.O.A.R (Reading with Our Athletic Rolemodels), a literacy program that raises money to buy books for the local elementary school.

  • The team holds a GPA of 90.

  • The team’s motto is “if we each do a little, together we will do a lot!”

6th Place

Franklin High School-Franklin, Tennessee 

  • Organized a motorcade for Franklin High School student and fallen soldier as he was being transported to his final resting place

  • Cheered on over 30,000 runners in the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and the ING Kid’s Rock Race

  • Hosted a free cheerleading clinic for the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin

  • Every cheerleader takes honor classes, and the team holds a 3.7 GPA

  • Cheerleaders read to children at local elementary schools, as well as teach them math facts!

5TH Place-TIE

Halls High School-Knoxville, Tennessee 

  • Hosted Top 8 at 8:00 on Hot 104.5 to encourage students and fans to attend the football game

  • When actor Kevin James was unable to attend his movie premiere for “Here Comes The Boom”, the Halls cheerleaders were asked to come provide entertainment for the guests!

  • The cheerleaders hosted a pep rally for the students at Brickey Elementary for reaching a reading achievement

  • Organized and hosted a pep rally just for freshmen to welcome the students and parents to school. Afterwards, they gave the freshmen a tour of the school and help a question/answer session for parents

  • Holds the highest team GPA in their school, and takes the highest percentage of Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and Honors classes of any organization at their school

5TH Place-TIE

Kingston High School- Kingston, New York 

  • Organized a flash mob that involved over 400 dancers to support Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign

  • On top of raising awareness for Breast Cancer, they asked people to pledge a donation for each push up they had to do at football games each time their team scored, and raised $900 for the American Cancer Society

  • Throughout the year, the team does fundraising activities not only for the community but for the cheerleading scholarship fund. Upon graduation, each senior receives a scholarship to use for college, and 100% of the seniors continue their education after high school!

  • Welcomed a foreign exchange student from Brazil onto their squad!

  • Hosted a “senior prom” for residents at the local nursing home

4th Place

Hendrick Hudson High School-Montrose, New York 

  • Created the “CHEERful Day of Giving” campaign and went out into the community to perform random acts of kindness. The cheerleaders passed out balloons to children at playgrounds and libraries, delivered flowers to the district secretaries, brought water to outdoor workers, and visited the local veteran’s hospitals to meet the residents.

  • Completely redesigned their school’s pep rally and Homecoming activities to create what their principal called “the best events in his 11 years at the school!” The pep rallies were student centere, including games and leading the student body in their school fight song.

  • The cheerleaders maintain a 90% average-with 55 cheerleaders total!

  • Placed banners throughout their school and encourage the student body to wear “Blue at School and White at Night” on gameday-and everyone participated!

3rd Place

Costa Mesa High School-Costa Mesa, California 

  • Planned the “Welcome Back from London” event for the return of Olympic Gold Medalist Kyla Ross at her home gym. The cheerleaders cheered for her upon her return, decorated the gym, and set up food for the reception.

  • Hosted a presentation on positive self-esteem for the school to help stop bullying. The school came together and discussed important issues to help everyone feel beautiful on the inside and out.

  • Held “Coin Wars” for the Make a Wish Foundation. Each class receives a jug to put coins in, but bills subtract points from the other classes. This event alone raised over $1,000!

  • Introduced Class Spirit Flags, encouraging each class to be as spirited as they can be. The class that has the most spirit gets to fly their flag on the school flagpole until the next event. This event has been a huge success within the student body!

  • Maintains a squad GPA of 3.85


2nd Place

Grandview High School-Aurora, Colorado 

  • First ever recipients of the Pepsi Sparkle Effect Grant, which helped fund uniforms and startup costs for their Wolves Spirit Squad that is made of 14 athletes with special needs. The squad practices every week and performs at all home football, volleyball and basketball games alongside the Varsity squad.

  • The cheerleaders’ idea to include everyone has spread to other sports, schools, and districts. Unified basketball, soccer, and track are now offered throughout the district to include students with special needs because of the program started by the Grandview cheerleaders.

  • Each year the Grandview cheerleaders lead the spirit bus, transporting the Varsity athletes to local elementary and middle schools to spread Grandview spirit. The cheerleaders, along with the rest of the varsity athletes put on a parade within the schools and lead cheers with the students. When traveling school to school, the cheerleaders lead the other athletes in cheers to get them excited for their next stop.

  • Prepared meals for families at the Ronald McDonald house, a facility that provides housing to chronically ill patients and their families. The cheerleaders made dinner for over 50 people, and led them in cheers throughout the night.

1st Place

Archbishop Carroll High School-Washington, DC 

  • Held one of the largest food drives in the country and collected over 40,000 pounds of food, providing a week’s worth of meals and a Thanksgiving dinner to over 300 area families. There was also enough to stock the shelves at several local food pantries.

  • One cheerleader alone collected over 1,300 pounds of food for the food drive. She hopes to one day open a food pantry to help others in need.

  • After unfortunate circumstances surrounding the football team resulting in a disappointing football season, the cheerleaders kept the crowd positive, excited, and cheered the team on even when the team was down by over 40 points. The cheerleaders kept the crowd engaged and encouraged the team no matter the outcome.

  • Started an annual coat drive, collecting and cleaning over 200 coats to donate to those in need in the Metropolitan Washington area.

  • When the school ‘s beloved principal retired in October, they only tribute he wanted was a cheer from the Archbishop Carroll Cheerleaders. The cheer brought tears to his eyes.

  • For the past three years, the Female Athlete of the year has been a cheerleader. This prestigious award is voted on by the entire athletic coaching staff at the school.

  • Over half of the upperclassmen on the squad take International Baccalaureate classes, which are considered to be the most rigorous college preparatory classes in the world.

Judges Favorite:

Excellence in Academics Award:

Quincy Notre Dame High School-Quincy, Illinois

The Quincy Notre Dame cheerleaders have managed to maintain a 3.42 GPA between their 36 cheerleaders. Each cheerleader’s grades are checked by their Athletic Director on a weekly basis, and if a cheerleader’s grades do not meet the school standards, a deficiency report is sent to the coaches and parents. The cheerleaders have one of the highest combined grade point averages among all teams in their school! Their motto is “academics come first.”

The Dedication Award:

Central Dauphin High School-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Many cheerleaders have the luxury of going to bed early and getting plenty of rest before competing in their Regional Competition. The Central Dauphin Cheerleaders cheered in the football state semi- final game two hours away from home, stayed the night, and then traveled two more hours the next morning to compete in Regionals. On top of competing on a national level and cheering for football, the cheerleaders also cheer for soccer, boys and girls basketball, and wrestling. The cheerleaders consider being able for so many successful teams an honor!

The Community Outreach Award:

Oxford High School-Oxford, Connecticut

When the Oxford cheerleaders learned that a young boy in their community had been diagnosed with cancer, they knew there was something they could do to help. The cheerleaders created the “Money for James” campaign, and sold candy bars throughout the community to help pay for his medical treatments. The team ended up raising hundreds of dollars to help lead James on his path to being cancer free.

Scholarship Award
Aberdeen High School - Aberdeen, Washington

  •          12 girls are in Honor Society
  •          8 have won multiple scholar athlete awards
  •          6 girls are World Class Scholars. A program that tracks their academics from 7th grade
  •          6 are ASB officers in their prospective grades
  •          3 girls are on the Renaissance Action Team
  •          3 are in AVID, a college prep program
  •          1 girl made it to state in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

The Reading Award

Sparta High School - Sparta, New Jersey

Five years ago they started a mission to re-build their program by building a strong relationship within their student, administrative and community fan base. One of the things they created to help achieve this goal was a program called, “Three Cheers for Reading.  The cheerleaders visit their local elementary schools to read holiday stories and share a craft or treat with the children.

The Charity Award

Chardon High School -  Chardon, Ohio

The Chardon cheerleaders have been a major part of the Nick Walczak Healing Fund. Nick is a student who was student who was left paralyzed after a shooting at their school. The X-Cel Athletics hosted a fundraiser event that not only raised a large amount of money it also brought awareness to the community. For $5 anyone interested in cheering or tumbling could take a class for $5 with all proceeds going to the Nick Walczak Healing Fund.

Outstanding Achievement

  • Bishop Moore Catholic High School – Orlando, Florida
  • Bob Jones high School - Madison , Alabama
  • Byron Nelson High School – Trophy Club, TX
  • East Surry High School – Pilot Mountain, NC
  • Eastlake high School – Sammamish, Washington
  • Kentwood High School – Covington, Washington
  • Quitman High School – Quitman, Louisiana
  • Robert E Lee High School – Baytown, Texas
  • St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School – Austin, Texas
  • Watertown High School - Watertown, Connecticut
  • Westside High School Anderson, South Carolina
  • Warren County High School – McMinnville, Tennessee
  • Pajaro Valley High School – Watsonville, California 

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