Thirteen years ago, students at New Albany High School initiated Peace Week in reaction to the tragedy at Columbine High School in order to foster connections and build a community where everyone had a place to belong. As our school community continues to grow, the House system has embraced this focus of establishing a positive school culture by introducing the 1st annual Peace Games during Lunch on the Lawn.
And once again, students have taken the lead in developing a new, all-inclusive tradition called the House Peace Games. Twenty-four events were created in the areas of academics, arts, and athletics to highlight talents from all students.
“Peace Week was a time for individuals to display their talents in the uniform of their houses,” said sophomore Zag Kawari. “It allowed for a competition to take place that showed a student’s skills.”
Students selected which events they wanted to compete in to represent their house in order to earn points toward the House Cup. These events resulted in teamwork amongst disparate groups of students and grades, bringing our school together like never before.
“The Peace Games were a time when we celebrate everyone working together,” Michael Colgan said. “The most important part of Peace Week was that it showed us that we are all close and can be friends.”
“What was great about the event was that all eight houses won and placed in some events,” observed NAHS Assistant Principal Rex Reeder.
Contests ranged from Cake Wars to Quidditch, Mathletics to World Cup Soccer, Graffiti Challenge to Build A Boat Races. Each of these events challenged students in unique and various ways, whether they were forming a volleyball team to compete, creating an artistic design to highlight, developing a rocket to launch or building a boat to race.
This year’s winning house was Miller House, with Pleasant Hill coming in Second and Wagner following in third. However, Peace Week was not about winners and losers; As Colin Burke, a student new this year to NA, puts it, “Peace Week is a time to engage in friendly competition with the rest of your school in order to motivate each other and celebrate our school. It helped unite all the houses and is fun for everyone.”
The House Peace Games have laid the groundwork for an exciting new addition to the already popular tradition of Lunch on the Lawn, Battle of the Bands and Peace Week Art show during Peace Week.