There are pep rallies. And then there are PEP rallies.
After Monday morning, it’s clear the Pascagoula-Gautier School District is in the second category.
Students and staff demonstrated their school spirit as an pep rally got everyone pumped up for the school year. Monday was the kickoff to the school year, which starts Thursday.
Acting as one half motivational speaker and one half district celebrity, Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich warmed the crowd up early.
“What kind of leader am I and what kind of leaders are my leadership team if we can’t come up with a pep rally? That’s what I asked myself,” he said.
Rodolfich said he settled on “Believe!” as this year’s district slogan.
Students and staff wore multi-colored T-shirts with Pascagoula-Gautier School District on the front and “Believe” on the back.
English teacher Melissa DeAngelo kicked off the rally with a stirring rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t believe in you. I want us to believe in our teachers. I want us to believe in our education. I want us to believe in each other,” Rodolifich said.
After an invocation, Rev. Jerome Blanks addressed students. “Take advantage of the time you have here. Take advantage of the teachers that are here to help you,” he said.
Later in the rally, students did an impressive rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” with the gym lights off and balloons held high in the air.
“Remember, I have your back. I have your back. If there’s anything you need me to know, I’ll have your back,” Rodolfich said to the crowd.