The state send-off parade’s biggest fan

Huntley High School teachers make an impact at state competition.

Breanna Burak

Excitement floods the building as swim team state qualifier, Ella Young, parades through the halls of Huntley High School. The band is blaring the fight song while they lead her upstairs, where a unique audience greets her at the end of the hall. A plastic pool waves in the air along with whiteboards that display encouraging messages. Although Young was expecting something of the sort, she was surprised and appreciated the little send-off scene the teachers had created for her.

“It was really funny when I walked around the corner; they were sitting on tables and when I walked past they pushed the tables and pretended to swim,” Young said.

She is one of the many state qualifiers that has come across this group of teachers during a parade. According to math teacher Patrick Odarczenko, he and some other teachers have been doing it for years.

“The first year it was just me and [Mr.Allen] holding up signs,” Odarczenko said.

James Allen also came up with the idea of making signs and props and said that other teachers in the area joined them progressively. Now, they are notified by the athletic director every time there is a parade so they can prepare.

“You are going through the halls and you get your usual cheering and the band going and then you kind of seem to catch a few kids off guard that actually read your signs; you see them start to laugh and that’s always a fun little aspect of it,” Allen said.

Recently, the teachers have been using props to cheer on the students too.

“I know they’ve been doing it but they’ve been stepping it up,” Young said. 

The teachers enjoy going above and beyond to support the state qualifiers and have come up with a variety of clever ideas to do so.

“I think one of our most fun and most extravagant ones thus far was the swimming one. I feel like that one and also the cross country,” Allen said. “[For] the swimming Mr. Odarczenko brought in a pool and then for the cross country we set up a water station. That was pretty funny.”

The group of teachers always have something to display for every sport and students look forward to what they will see from them.

“Every time they’ve been doing something more, something bigger, so I’m excited to see what they do for the next few sports that go to state,” Young said.