Peace, love, and good grades: Ren Rally recognizes groovy students


Photo by: Luciana Martin

Principal Joshua Kirk enters the Ren Rally on a 70s Voltswagan replica dressed in 1970s attire

This year’s Renaissance Rally gave students a groovy experience as they walked into a newly (or oldly) decorated gym. Student Achievement spent months preparing for this year’s 70s-themed rally, and their efforts had students having the time of their lives.

This will be the first indoor Renaissance Rally since 2019’s space-themed rally, meaning that no current student at RCHS has experienced one, including members of SA. Since this is their first time setting up an indoor rally, SA students had to quickly adapt to the more challenging environment indoor rallies possess.

Senior and Student Achievement President Janina Gbenoba talked about how the biggest challenge with setting up inside is not having anyone in SA with any experience of setting up an indoor rally. 

“It was just a learning process; there were a lot of things we had to go back and fix and kinda little mistakes and things like setting up tarps or putting up posters but I’m really glad that everyone got to learn this year,” said Gbenoba.

What differentiates this rally from other rallies in the school year is that the Renaissance Rally focuses primarily on recognizIng the the achievements of students and teachers. 

“Renaissance rally is a recognition rally, so we’re really just trying to make sure that students of all backgrounds are represented,” said Student Achievement Teacher Advisor Tiffini Ewing.

On the topic of teachers, for the first time, juniors were allowed to nominate teachers for teacher of the year. Before this, only seniors were able to nominate teachers. This year’s nominees were Ms. Madison Cabral, Mr. Kyle Wallace, Mr. Matt Garner, Mr. Andrew Scranton, Mr. Jose Fuentes, Mr. James Loudermilk, Ms. Megan Womack, Ms. Stephanie Lai, and Ms. Amanda Woodhouse, representing each of their departments. 

Just like the Homecoming and King’s Ball Rally, teacher of the year nominees perform a “walk out dance.” 

RCHS selected Cabral as this year’s Teacher of the Year.

For the rest of the awards, RCHS teachers and staff nominated students that they felt best fit the categories.

The categories and winners are as follows: 

  • Math Award: Alyanna Yap, Arul Loomba
  • English Award: Ryan Reveles, Janina Gbenoba
  • Physical Education Award: Kristian Martinez, Damien Gomez 
  • Science Award: Arul Loomba Janina Gbenoba
  • World Language Award: Janina Gbenoba, Gladis Magaña Aguilar
  • Social Science Award: Tanyan Herrera, Hannah Allen
  • Most Improved Award: Aaron Gonzalez
  • Scholar Athlete Award: Connor Favero, Renee Du
  • Staff Award: Ms. Laurie Favero 
  • Most Inspirational Award: Nimrah Khanh, Grayson Ross 
  • Most Outstanding High School Career Award: Evelyn Villanueva, Janina Gbenoba
Connor Favero and Ms. Laurie Favero share a hug after Ms. Laurie Favero received the Staff Award

Along with the awards, Student Achievement recognized the students with the highest GPAs in their class in the Top 10 Awards.

SA held auditions for students to showcase their talents at the rally from Feb. 21 to Feb 24, and from those auditions, live performances of all kinds were on display.

One of which was Justin Jackson performing “Landslide” during the Most Improved Award Ceremony.

“[my performance] went good, I was confused because I didn’t know there was a slideshow going on so people were cheering at random times. I was like I didn’t even do anything special at that moment, but besides that I think I did okay,” said Jackson

Justin Jackson performs “Landslide” during the Most Inspirational Award ceremony

To start off the Rally, Principal Joshua Kirk came out on a 70s Volkswagen replica made by students in woodshop and SA.

Performances included the National Anthem performed by Jacob Whiteman and Christopher Eastlik, teacher of the year walkout dances, varsity dance, staff dance, “Landside” sung by Justin Jackson, and the grande finale.

The finale featured the band “Free Orange Juice” performing the songs, “Purple Haze,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and “Paranoid,” featuring Mr. Aaron Bishop, Principal Kirk, Ms. Elyse Martineau, and Ms. Larine Vessup.

Band drummer William McCrae said that the performance was super fun, and that they had been preparing for about a month beforehand.