Going to school during a pandemic would be hard for any student, much less going to school in person, part time while wearing masks.

So the Hermantown Student Council has been working to make it a little easier by trying to keep up school spirit. Senior and Student Council President Amanda Lawless said they wanted to start with an open and welcoming environment for students.

“This year is so different and people are really unsure of what’s going to happen,” Lawless said. “So our first goal for back to school was decorating for when the students came back to school.”

The decorations included some fun signs incorporating pandemic precautions such as “Don’t stop believin’ ... and movin'”; “It’s groovy to have you back”; “Wash, wash, wash, Stayin Alive, Staying Alive”; “Spread kindness not germs”; and “Even the stars social distance.”

A sign hanging in the hallway of Hermantown High School that reads "Hawks fly together Just 6 feet apart." The design will be available for students on a t-shirt. (Clint Austin/caustin@duluthnews.com)
A sign hanging in the hallway of Hermantown High School that reads "Hawks fly together Just 6 feet apart." The design will be available for students on a t-shirt. (Clint Austin/caustin@duluthnews.com)

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Sophomore Lauryn Biondi, who’s on the Student Council Leadership Committee, came up with a T-shirt design meant to create spirit and unity in the community. The school’s motto is “Hawks Fly Together.”

“I wanted to include our school motto in the design because I think that’s an important feature and it can bring people together and make them encouraged to show their school spirit around school and town,” Biondi said.

The T-shirt, available for preorder until Sept. 25 at hhshawknest.com for $10, says “Hawks fly together just 6 feet apart.”

“We’re really lucky to be able to have a hybrid model for school right now and we’re really lucky to be able to have some of our sports teams still going on,” Lawless said. “So we really want to take advantage of that as much as we can and show our support for being back in school."

Hermantown Community Schools has started the school year in the hybrid model where students attend two days a week. Lawless and Biondi said it was great to be back in school, but it was definitely different.

Senior Amanda Lawless (left), Student Council President, and sophomore Lauryn Biondi, with the Student Council Leadership Committee are working to keep the school spirit alive at Hermantown while they are in hybrid learning. They are sitting near a sign that is actually six feet long on display at the school. (Clint Austin/caustin@duluthnews.com)
Senior Amanda Lawless (left), Student Council President, and sophomore Lauryn Biondi, with the Student Council Leadership Committee are working to keep the school spirit alive at Hermantown while they are in hybrid learning. They are sitting near a sign that is actually six feet long on display at the school. (Clint Austin/caustin@duluthnews.com)

“I kind of felt like I was being bubbled a little bit because there weren’t many students and we’re used to having more full classes,” Biondi said. “Other than that, it was really nice to just see some teachers and have them do their lectures and stuff in person and catch up with people, even from 6 feet apart.”

Lawless said it was odd being with the same people all day and that it was a little hard to keep track of everything with some in-person classes and sometimes being online.

“Our teachers are working really hard so we really appreciate that about them and it’s nice because I think they also appreciate that we get to be in school with them and go through this journey altogether,” Biondi said.

Biondi said the Student Council is working on a possible virtual or different kind of spirit week in October. Football has been moved to the spring, along with homecoming, so there won’t be a typical spirit week for students.

“The Student Council would just really like to thank everyone for being so positive and so courteous of the rules and regulations we have to follow so that we can stay in school,” Lawless said. “We also want to thank the administration and all of our teachers for working so hard to help us out, too.”

Hermantown sophomore Lauryn Biondi created this T-shirt design. (Submitted photo)
Hermantown sophomore Lauryn Biondi created this T-shirt design. (Submitted photo)