SOUTH JORDAN — Bingham High School, along with three schools across the country, is a finalist for $25,000 in a competition for the best school spirit.
Grand prize award finalists for “Best School Spirit” was announced March 1 by Varsity Brands, a company that makes cheerleading apparel and sponsors the contest.
“It’s quite an honor to be recognized at this national level,” said Tyler Beckham, the school’s student body president. “Often just in high school and even being as a kid, you feel like you get looked over, then to be nominated for something like this is unbelievable.”
Other schools in consideration for the award are Broken Arrow High School (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), El Toro High School (Lake Forest, California) and Kahuku High School (Kahuku, Hawaii). The winner will be announced March 15.
Voting for the award is done online on Varsity’s website.
Beckham said each day since voting began that there have been plenty of reminders for students to vote.
“We’ve been doing each day over school announcements, over social media accounts that Bingham runs (and) we have our teachers talking about it,” he said. “Everybody inside Bingham knows about and is talking about it with their friends — just a lot of things like that.”
Amber Thomas, an English teacher and cheerleading coach at the school, oversaw most of the submission for the contest.
She said the school had to submit a 500-word essay about the school’s spirit story, two letters of recommendation — which were written by school principal Christen Richard-Khong and baseball coach Joe Sato, two photos that showed Bingham “in a spirited way” and a 90-second video with original music.
The school was informed days before the announcement that it was a finalist.
“It’s amazing,” Thomas said. “It took us a long time to get everything together … but we were really excited because it’s a huge amount of money and a huge opportunity for the school to be recognized on a nation-wide basis.”
Bingham is also up for an award for Best School Tradition along with schools in California, Montana and Georgia. That, Thomas said, is in relation to the school’s “pinning ceremony,” which is a ceremony where a unique pin is given to a student that excels or shows dedication in a certain area at the school. The tradition dates back to the 1980s.
Thomas said the money could be put to good use, including facility upkeep.
“That money can be used to help make many improvements at this facility for sure,” Thomas said.
As for what makes Bingham special, Beckham said there are plenty of reasons the school is worthy for the award.
“It’s not just one thing," he said. "It’s a combination of things — the unity of the student body, the old traditions that Bingham is based on, Bingham pride that comes from our success altogether create this Bingham dynasty that we’re proud to be a part of and I think that’s what sets us apart from everyone else."