116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Homecoming season is largely about longstanding traditions – parades, football games, marching bands, spirit days and dances, to name a few.
But students at Linn-Mar High School have started a new homecoming tradition. And it’s a good one.
Instead of electing a homecoming court at last week’s festivities, Linn-Mar is recognizing seniors whose accomplishments underscore the characteristics of perseverance, respect, integrity, determination and empathy, or PRIDE. Linn-Mar’s mascot, a lion, makes the PRIDE honor even more appropriate.
The change was driven by students with the assistance of school officials. Students are nominated for PRIDE accolades by their fellow students, who can submit nominations in writing. Students and staff then review the nominations and pick the top candidates, with no limit on how many can be honored.
PRIDE offers a gender-neutral option to electing a homecoming royal court, with recognition for students who don’t identify as male or female, are gay, lesbian or transgender. All are eligible. Linn-Mar High School Principal Jeff Gustason told The Gazette’s Grace King the change is “more inclusive” for all students who have accomplished great things and provided leadership.
“I want every student to feel a part of Linn-Mar High School,” Gustason said. We agree.
The change at Linn-Mar has been in the works for some time. And we hope other school districts consider making an inclusive recognition of student excellence a part of their homecoming traditions. Schools’ mission to promote education, diversity, equity and inclusion don’t have to take a break for homecoming. Some traditions clearly are worth preserving, but some deserve a fresh look.
Lin-Mar students deserve a great deal of credit for leading positive change and living up to the district’s motto “We are Linn-Mar.” And the change they championed is something all Lions, present and past, can take pride in, and not just on homecoming.
(319) 398-8262; email@example.com