Blairsville pep assembly

Blairsville High School cheerleaders Hanna Alamo, Sydney Zias and Alison Walbeck were among the athletes, cheerleaders and band members who held a PSSA pep assembly for Blairsville Elementary students on April 6. (Rachel Jackson/Blairsville High School)

The assembly lasted from 8 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m. At the assembly, 14 of the seniors introduced themselves, described their post-secondary plans and gave a test-taking tip.

There were also interactive activities, such as a large blow-up basketball hoop, and entertaining celebrations, such as music and dancing, to lighten up the program and create a fun environment for all the students involved.

The students who participated in the assembly know how meaningful their visit was to the elementary students. Many students are nervous to take a standardized test, especially those in third grade, who are taking it for the first time. The upperclassmen can understand this.

The high school athletes, cheerleaders and band members who came down April 6 to show support for the current elementary students remember when they took the assessment many years ago and how special it felt to get support from the high school students then.

Senior Brandon Rebo was the first to speak to the elementary students. His post-secondary plans include entering the Navy and eventually becoming an engineer.

His advice to the elementary students was to get a good amount of sleep the night before the test, to eat a healthy and filling breakfast, and to wear comfortable clothes.

“It was awesome to be a part of and even lead an assembly that I remember from my elementary days,” Rebo said.

This is an annual tradition at Blairsville; it was coordinated this year by high school physical education teacher Laura Thompson. It has always been very important to the elementary students, and it is something they look forward to before they begin the test-taking every spring.

Many of the current high school students, including seniors who are about to move on, like Rebo, can look back on their school experience and recall this as a very memorable time in their elementary careers.

The goal of the assembly is that the elementary students now will be able to use the advice and inspiration given to them and do their best on the assessment. Someday they also will be able to pass down what they have learned throughout their school careers, just as the current seniors did for them.