On Tuesday, Nov. 9, Mepham celebrated its annual Battle of the Classes night at the Brookside gym, crowning the senior Class of 2011 as the champions of the school. The special night was filled with festivities that demonstrated the overwhelming spirit and heartwarming cohesion of the Mepham community.
The exciting event was planned entirely by the senior Participation in Government and Senior Experience classes, who have devoted their time to raising money and increasing awareness for Autism Speaks. All of the money raised by the selling of t-shirts, admission tickets, water bottles, raffles and the Penny Wars competition will go directly to the Long Island branch of the organization. The Battle of the Classes was also filmed to air on MSG Varsity under their Students Making a Difference feature.
Though the students' display of spirit and support for the charity were clear, the most significant moment of the night came through unforeseen circumstances, when the gym lost power and the students were left in darkness. It was unbelievable how quickly the hundreds of students came together in silence, using cell phones and cameras as the only means of light. When the music was restored, students sang together as a group, waving flashing phone screens until lights returned.
Principal Mr. Harrington noted the group's smooth acceptance of the night's hiccup, proclaiming, "I am just so proud to be a part of this school community."
Mepham students came together all week long, prior to the Battle, mainly through participation in Penny Wars and a t-shirt contest.
In Penny Wars, each class had a bucket in the main office to collect change. Pennies in the jars counted as positive points, while any silver change or dollar bills counted as negative points. Teams strategized to place silver coins in other teams' buckets in order to win while also raising money for the cause.
Participation in Government teachers Ms. Dennis and Mr. Patten said that Penny Wars was extremely successful, explaining that they had received thousands of different coins, amounting to a bucket so heavy that three people were required to lift it.
Additionally, students who were unable to attend the competition on Tuesday night were able to contribute during school that day by wearing their designated color. The most members of a particular class wearing their color won additional points toward the competition. The Mepham hallways were filled with freshman in white, sophomores donning gray, juniors in maroon and seniors in black. Though all classes made strong efforts in the preliminary contests, the seniors set up their overall win by taking first in both events.
The gym at Brookside had a euphoric atmosphere as the night's host and DJ, Mr. Stein, introduced the different grades.
Each class decorated their corner of the gym according to a theme, and later incorporated that theme into their cheer and dance. The freshman played off of Will Smith's show "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" as the Freshman of Bellmore, the sophomores travelled back to the eighties with "Saved by the Bell," the juniors visited "Jersey Shore" stars Snooki and Pauly D with Junior Shore, and the seniors based their theme on the show "Survivor."
Students enjoyed participating in events such as the scooter relay, oversize volleyball games, the tricycle race, tug of war and the ultimate Pirate Relay. The classes each took turns winning the trials, but final scores placed seniors on top, followed by juniors, sophomores and freshman.
The night was concluded with a widespread favorite, as senior students had the opportunity to throw pies in the faces of Principal Mr. Harrington, Assistant Principal Mr. Safina, Mr. Patten and Mr. Muscara.
Students left the gymnasium feeling proud of their efforts and also excited to experience Mepham's next big event, this Saturday's playoff football game at Hofstra University at 1 p.m.
Overall, Battle of the Classes was a great night that displayed Mepham's sense of community and giving nature.
"A great team beats with one heart," Mr. Harrington said, "and tonight you [all] have demonstrated that."