Big changes are coming to how McAlester Public Schools conducts their homecoming selection and ceremonies process.
Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the entire high school will have a single homecoming celebration and queen.
An “all-school homecoming,” was how McAlester Athletics Director John Homer termed the new system.
For generations, there has been a homecoming for football, and some for other sports and activities as well. Under the new system, each club or organization at the school can select their own queen candidate and escort, and they will be able to vie for the all-school honor.
Also, instead of a limited group such as football players or band members selecting the queen for their own event, the student body as a whole will get to pick the all-school homecoming queen.
“We’re trying to get more kids involved,” in homecoming, Homer said.
With the new system, he noted “the whole student body gets to be involved.”
It is a system that has had input from others. Homer said all the comments he heard had been positive about the change. As to how many groups he expects to participate, the athletics director estimated “we’ll have about 20 or 30.’
For instance, the football team, the baseball team, the band, the Spanish Club are all examples of student groups who can have a queen candidate and escort that will be in the homecoming, represent their individual activity as queen after a fashion, and vie for the all-school queen position.
Each group’s queen candidate will wear a crown and have flowers at the homecoming ceremonies, according to Homer.
The date for the first all-school homecoming has already been selected: the evening of the McAlester-Tulsa Hale football game on Oct. 23rd.
“I guess it’s a new tradition,” the coach called the homecoming change.
MHS Principal Paula Meadows, who worked with Homer in developing the new approach, also stressed how the changes would mean more student involvement.
“It’s going to involve a lot more of our students,” the principal said. “That’s a great thing.”
“I believe it will be a huge community event,” Meadows said of the unified all-school homecoming.
Superintendent Dr. Marsha Gore said that any time the high school and athletics departments get together and agree on something to give better opportunities to the students, “I support them.”