ASB to release 20-minute Welcome Back video Monday, Aug. 24, for students, staff to watch at end of Period 4


Image posted with permission from Jasmine Lee.

The Associated Student Body [ASB] co-adviser Mike Paris, top row, far left, leads a Zoom meeting during fifth period on the first Wednesday of the 2020-2021 school year to review the ASB agenda with his 60 students. After sponsoring a virtual school spirit week from Aug. 17-21, the ASB has put together a Welcome Back video to be released Monday, Aug. 24, at the end of fourth period.

Anthony Keem, Staff Reporter

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This story was updated at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, with additional quotes from students and information about how the ASB will promote the video.

The Associated Student Body [ASB] plans to release a 20-minute Welcome Back video Monday, Aug. 24, featuring a montage of recorded messages from various campus groups aimed at building school spirit and unity, officials said.

“It will help school spirit because it demonstrates the resilience of the people on campus,” ASB co-adviser Mike Paris said.

Principal Allen Whitten sent an email to teachers Aug. 20 giving instructions from the ASB as to when the link to the video will be shared and to encourage Period 4 students to watch the video before they leave for the Student Support period.

“Within the last few minutes of class, please instruct your kids to watch the video as we kick off the 2020-21 school year with some school spirit and a sense of togetherness,” according to the ASB instructions to staff. “Or, even better, watch it together as a class — it’s more fun that way.”

The video will feature messages from students in programs ranging from sports teams to Dance Production to the newly organized Pep Squad, ASB social committee commissioner Micah Desai said.

“The video assembly was put together so that students could experience the same high school traditions as always while at home,” Desai said. “Assemblies have always been a way to bring the student body together— to assemble. 

“I think students should watch the video assembly to stay connected to both the school and to each other.”

The ASB has traditionally organized a Welcome Back assembly on the first Friday of the new school year, but because all public schools in Orange County were mandated by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to start the 2020-2021 school year with distance learning, that event got canceled.

With that in mind, Paris said his ASB students originally were working on a virtual assembly during the summer.

We started the summer planning to have a virtual assembly that involved a video recording of various teams, diploma programs, etc, but they were all forced to stop meeting, so nothing was available to video,” said Paris, adding that the ASB had to cancel any form of a Welcome Back event.

But then the co-adviser said he changed his mind the first week of the fall semester.

Once the school year began, we decided to put together a video of messages from some groups on campus in place of the assembly,” said Paris, whose direction with the ASB’s technology committee led to the Welcome Back video’s compilation of Zoom meetings and recordings of “live” clips.

To promote the Welcome Back video release to students, the ASB will use its Instagram handle (@sunnyhills.asb) to launch the first wave of posts about it starting around noon Sunday, Aug. 23. ASB publicity commissioner junior Isabella Ramos said.

After watching the Welcome Back assembly for the first time last year, sophomore Tony Salas said he’s willing to give up some of his time to view the recording, adding that it “has potential and can be really fun [to watch].”

Though freshman Tiffany Elmitiarta will have to wait another year before she can experience a live Welcome Back assembly, Elmitiarta said she is still looking forward to whatever content the ASB has to offer.

“The ASB is making a really great effort to keep the same traditions and the school spirit alive,” she said.