There was a lot of speculation surrounding Oak Creek High School’s first pep assembly on Friday.
“There are rumors of some great speaker coming,” said junior Marlena Piwowarczyk. “Maybe Ryan Braun.”
“I heard it was Aaron Rogers,” said Lauren Ungerecht, another junior.
While neither sports legend appeared, the cheers, shouts, and exuberance that filled the gymnasium certainly rivaled the crowds at Lambeau Field or Miller Park. In a unique move, students at Oak Creek High School cheered at a pep assembly geared beyond the usual focus on athletics and school spirit. The unexpected guest turned out to be…academics.
Along with the school song, cheerleaders, and the pom pon squad, students enthusiastically applauded and shouted for the school’s graduation and attendance rates. Set to the tune of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” a PowerPoint presentation, in the midst of the assembly, encouraged students to improve their attendance and test scores. The welcome-back assembly, titled “Ignite,” skillfully balanced its dual emphasis on both academics and activity.
Following the PowerPoint, the assembly shifted back toward more traditional territory and offered a school-wide recognition of the school’s varsity baseball team, this year’s WIAA Division I State Champions.
Emcee Jeff Tiedke, a high school alternative education teacher, offered a heart-felt introduction. “It was the hottest summer on record in Milwaukee,” Tiedke said, “but nobody was hotter than these fellas!” The 1,960 member student body strongly supported the players as they were introduced.
Ending the assembly, Principal Mike Read brought academics back to the forefront. He challenged each class to achieve academic excellence on the ACT, the WKCE state test, and to achieve a 100% graduation rate.
“I need each of you to be a legendary Knight,” Read said.