End of a New Day

Changes to MHHS End of the Year Activities


The 2022-2023 school year at MHHS has had a stunning amount of changes for what life looks like for the student body. TASSEL was the first to change, and now end of the year activities such as Hoopla Day and Impact Week have vanished from the calendar.

“Hoopla Day was kinda like a field day with something that kids would look forward to because it was a day in school where we could just honestly hang out with our friends and just have fun,” Brianna Sexton (11) said.

After the shooting at Uvalde in May that affected the management of Texas schools, the change in administration throughout MISD and an unprecedented population increase for MHHS, the administration has removed another fixture of the school year that upper-classmen students have come to expect.

“I feel very disappointed because that’s something most of the kids who have been here previously look forward to for the whole year because it’s kinda your reward for all the hard work you put in,” Madeleine Hill (11) said. “So since you worked hard and studied hard, you get a day at school where you can say, ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ to all your friends and enjoy the last few moments. It’s especially disappointing for the seniors because it was going to be their last one and suddenly it’s gone.”

Following rumors that new MHHS principal, Ketura Madison, planned on removing these practices since before the year started, Madison insists that she did not plan the changes and removal of activities. She claims she did not know about the practices until they were presented to her by her staff along with a vocal call for the changes the student body is currently experiencing.

“I did not even know what Hoopla was,” Madison said. “As we were preparing for end of the year ‘things,’ feedback from staff, especially administrator staff that was here from last year, was that with the sheer size of Heritage now it’s extremely hard to try to keep everyone in the same place and from roaming and getting away Last year it was hard to manage and there were fewer students here last year, we have even more than last year, so that was a request from our staff, both teachers and administrators, to not have it this year.”

The changes affect more than students being able to have fun with their friends on a special field day. End of the year traditions, such as giving out the yearbooks to the student body on Hoopla Day, have been disrupted forcing the media advisor and the yearbook staff to come up with another solution.

“There’s nothing set in stone right now,” Jaguar Media advisor Rachel Kidder said. “I have some ideas. I have a feeling that what we’ll end up doing is something for seniors on one of their days where they’re here but not here kind of thing. Then probably everybody else either that same day later or the next week or something.”

Many of those who have gone to Heritage before the start of the Madison administration feel that they understand the need for the changes.

“Y’know, there’s always gonna be those [one or two kids] that screw it up for everyone and I think that’s just a part of the situation,” Sexton said. “I think that the administration needs to realize that and understand that they’re high school students, usually they’re under-classmen students who are just wasting away their time.”

However, that does not mean that they agree with the choices of the administration.

“Y’know we would get food trucks, stuff like that, just be ourselves when usually we were stressed, but it kinda signified the end of the year and that we made it,” Sexton said. “As much as I wanna say that yes, we could handle it, there would be that one or two who couldn’t, but that shouldn’t deter administration from finding a way for students to do what they want.”

Nor do they understand the lack of alternatives for the now gone activities.

“If she wants to gain a better reputation as principal and wants to be more valued and respected, I highly recommend her sublimating an alternative for Hoopla and Impact Week because if she just takes it away without sublimating an alternative, she’s just gonna be seen as a cruel principal,” Hill said

There are proposed alternatives, but for 12th grade students only since it is their last year of high school and due to missed weather days, they are unable to take half days like they would have in years before.

“Our seniors in the past they’ve been able to do just a half day during Senior Week,” Madison said. “But because we had those four ice days that we didn’t make up, as far as minutes go, they wouldn’t get all their minutes in if we let the seniors take only half days. Someone mentioned possibly just having it for seniors because although they have to be here, after their exams are done, we need some things to keep them entertained for the full day. So we are possibly doing something for seniors, but there wasn’t anything placed on the table for grades 9 through 11.”

While seniors also struggle with the lack of a Hoopla Day or Impact Week, they are hopeful that the alternative activities aimed at them will be satisfactory.

“I’m a senior so I feel fine about it,” Jerzie Bryant (12) said. “Sucks for the juniors, sophmores, and freshmen.”

These changes have been a lot for the student body and many feel that they do not like the current direction the school is going.

“That is a tradition here, pretty much, and to take that away is just destroying the school’s tradition,” Hill said. “My sister went to school here and we have other kids that have siblings that went to school here, it’s like a tradition. We all talk like, ‘Hey, how was your Hoopla’ or ‘Hey, how’s Impact Week.’ It feels like you’re taking away from part of the school’s identity at this point.”