Cool Schools: Raleigh High School

Cool Schools

SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – As a kindergartner, the first day of school is new and exciting.

But by the time high school rolls around, many students lose their “umph” for the first day.

The faculty at a Smith County school has a new tradition to help the high schoolers keep that same energy.

Raleigh High School is this week’s cool school.

If you walked into the gymnasium on the first day of school, you would think Raleigh High School is preparing for a football game.

But if you listen closer, the cheers from the cheerleading team reveals the pep rally is to celebrate the start of the school year. And the quarterbacks are the teachers.

“We try our best to show them that even though we have to be strict, and we have to make them follow the rules, that there’s a time and place for everything. And we’re human too. And we like to have fun,” U.S. History teacher, Lisa Hennis said.

“I think it makes it easier for us to learn, for them to be so passionate and love what they do,” Senior Garret Bradshaw said.

 Raleigh High started first day of school pep rallies last year. The morning begins with seniors parading into the school’s parking lot. Then, they get a special entrance into the gymnasium.

“I used to look at the seniors and be like ‘oh that’s so cool,’ and now the attention is on me…It makes me realize this is it. This is your year. You’ve got to kick in gear,” Senior Ally Fortnerberry said.

The 7th graders get a little love too. They were also given a special entrance.

“We want to show them that they’re special too. They’re significant, even though they’re the youngest ones here,” Hennis said.

The lions haven’t had the best academic performance.

The school earned a “C” grade by the Missisisppi Department of Education for the 2016-2017 school year.

First year Principal Adam Reynolds thinks kicking off the year with high energy will help them come out of this school year on top.

“Academically, we have been struggling a little bit. And that’s why we really want to focus on the teaching aspect, and focus on the students. Because that’s where we’re really going to get turned around,” Reynolds said.

“I think we’re really going to see that this year. The beginning of this year has felt different than any other year that I’ve been here,” Algebra 1 teacher, Katie Easterling said.

To top off the whole morning, the faculty at RHS debuted their own the lip sync challenge video.


If you know of a school doing something cool, nominate them for our “cool schools” segment. Every week we’ll highlight a local school. Send an e-mail to with your ideas.

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