A Reflection on the Success and Spirit of Unity Week


Rick Swanson

On Wednesday night, students gathered in the cafeteria to watch the new Disney movie, Encanto. Flags representing students in the HHS community hang above.

Delaney Coppola and Ava Malloy

Unity Week at Hingham High School took place from January 31st to February 5th. Despite a week full of snow days and half days, students at HHS participated by wearing the designated color for that day and attending fun after school events. Each day members of the unity project handed out rainbow ribbons and the student council decorated the lobby with colorful decorations and posters. From Open Mic Night to movie night, this week planned by the HHS Unity Project was a success. 

A snow day on Monday did not stop performers and artists from showing their talent on the stage. Including teachers and students, there were over twenty performances that night. Faculty from Hingham School displayed their talent during open mic night. Mrs. Garland did a wonderful spoken poetry performance. Even Hingham High School’s own principal played the guitar alongside Dr. Struzziero.

Senior Maddie Alyward attended to watch some of her fellow music students perform. She reflects, “I was very impressed by all of the performers at open mic night. It was amazing seeing so much talent within our school. It showed how much music can bring people together and I think it is an event that should happen more often!”

Many students arrived in the auditorium to cheer on and support their classmates. One of these observers, senior Ellie Boles, comments “The dedication and love of music that everyone who performed at open mic night had was apparent and I had so much fun in the audience!” Unfortunately due to the snow day, students did not get to wear purple during the school day, in support of disability awareness. 

Returning to school Tuesday, students arrived clad in green garments to celebrate the strength of our community. Unfortunately, the weather confusion and moving of Monday’s half day schedule to Tuesday resulted in the postponement of reading at the elementary schools. However, the colorful hallways and decorated lobby reflected the enthusiasm and spirit within the high school. 

In honor of mental health awareness, the color yellow flooded the building on Wednesday. Yet another half day, students dressed excitedly in this bright color during the day, and many returned to the school in the evening in comfier clothing for the “Encanto” movie night! Complete with snacks, drinks, blankets, and friends, the cafeteria proved a perfect spot to relax this past Wednesday. Senior Alexa Varholak comments, “I had a great time at the movie night on Wednesday! I had never watched “Encanto” before, and I loved it. I really hope that the Unity Project does something like this again next year because it was so fun!”  Set in Colombia, “Encanto” connected well to the Unity Week spirit, teaching students about a culture different from their own through a musical and magical story.

Thursday was the only full day of school this week. Students sported orange clothing in support of LGBTQ+. After school, the GSA club held a presentation where anyone was free to join. The meeting was tied in with unity week as it was an informative meeting on LGBTQ+ support. 

It was no surprise when unexpected weather led to another early release on Friday. However, HHS continued to celebrate cultural diversity day. Red decorations and clothing filled the hallways on Friday. Based on a student cultural heritage survey, over 50 flags representing different countries were hung in the cafeteria at the start of the week. This recognition of our community’s many backgrounds revealed a powerful and accepting environment. Senior Julie McAlister appreciated this addition, explaining, “I liked seeing different flags in the cafeteria.” Because of the ice and poor weather, the scheduled unity dance was postponed to February 11th. 

Although a tumultuous and wintery week, Hingham High School’s first Unity Week successfully celebrated community, inclusion, diversity, equality, and spirit among many values. Full of bright colors, streamers, balloons, presentations, and fun events, Unity Week encouraged the entire student body and staff to get involved! We hope that the messages and values encouraged will continue to be promoted in our school, and that Unity Week will become an annual celebration in our community!