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All about tradition
by Garrett Valenzuela
Apr 29, 2013 | 1618 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sparks High School student-athlete Mauricio Cardenas waves to the camera and sports his painting skills during an SHS Block S Club team-building event Sunday.
Sparks High School student-athlete Mauricio Cardenas waves to the camera and sports his painting skills during an SHS Block S Club team-building event Sunday.
SPARKS — The City’s capital ‘S’ was placed high on an east Sparks hill in 1925 and has been continually cared for by locals willing to give it a fresh batch of white paint. Sparks High School students have seized the opportunity in recent decades, sending students up the hill to keep the ‘S’ alive. However, since 2008, no class had gone up to stamp its mark.

On Sunday, the slump was broken as about 30 students, five teachers and staff members and a few others made the climb to the ‘S’ with 75 gallons of white paint and 30 mops, according to Sparks High School Registrar Gregg Shugar. With the help of local businesses, including a major donation from the Walmart Distribution Center, the Sparks High team was able to make a memory that can never be taken away.

“When we were planning it, we talked as a class about being able to point up at it every time you pass by and say ‘I helped keep that alive,’” Shugar said Monday. “Especially for the seniors who know their time at Sparks High is coming to an end, it was very important for them to be a part of it.”

The project was facilitated by the Block S club, a program for student-athletes looking to affect the school in positive ways, but Shugar said many students who participated on Sunday were not part of the club.

“It’s interesting because a lot of the kids hiked all the way up there because they didn’t have vehicles,” he said. “The Block S ran the main portion of the program but we opened up the opportunity to everyone who was interested and we wanted to show them that we were there with open arms. If you’re out there at 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday, you know you have kids who are really motivated.”

Shugar said enlightening the students of the history of the ‘S’ and what it means to the city and the school helped fuel the fire to get them out on Sunday. He said everyone was in good spirits during Sunday’s two-hour painting, as well as on the previous Sunday when a three-hour cleaning of the painted area took place.

“These kids are all out there trying to make the school be seen in a more positive light and I think it is great for everyone to get a chance to see how hard they work,” Shugar said.

As the senior class prepares to exit and move on to new beginnings, Shugar said the impression the class has left on the underclassmen, especially the freshmen, will help motivate students in the coming years to hike back up to the famed ‘S.’

“They have been talking about it today in the halls and I think everyone understands they were part of something special,” Shugar said in a telephone interview Monday. “I think there are some freshmen who didn’t realize it was out there and I think they are beginning to realize how important it is to the school. We hope that will translate into more classes going up there in the future.”
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SHS alum
April 30, 2013
Thanks to the students and especially Gregg Shugar for getting this done. Sparks High can be extremely proud of the S.
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