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They sure do clean up nice 

School spirit shows during, after events  

Thornapple Kellogg — After football games, players leave the field and spectators leave the stands. At Thornapple Kellogg High School, a group of students stays behind to clean up the student section and the rest of the bleachers. 

As student section leaders, senior Landon Conroy said it’s about getting everyone excited during games, but it’s also about setting a good example for their school.

“It was a tradition that started five years ago, where students would stay after football games to clean trash out of the stands,” he said. “It’s the least we can do to pick up our own mess and help out the custodians.” 

Principal Tony Petersen said students started staying after games to clean up with former Assistant Principal Kevin Remenap, who died in 2021

“It’s come full circle now for us as seniors,” Sahara Coston said. “Now we’re the student section leaders and we’re all friends, so it’s a good time and doesn’t feel like work.” 

From left, student section leaders and seniors Sophia Marcukaitis, Dylan Bailey, Emma Schut, Sahara Coston, Landon Conroy and Eva Corson

When the student section travels for away games, they still stay after the clock runs out to pick up trash from the bleachers.

Outside of football games and other sporting events, the group is looking forward to making memories of their last year of high school and maintaining their close friendships. 

“Our school isn’t that big, so everyone knows everyone and our whole class is cool with each other,” Sahara said. “High school has taught me how to get along with people you wouldn’t normally talk to.” 

The seniors hope younger students will continue the tradition. 

High school students clean up trash following a football game (courtesy).

“When we are in college, we hope to come back and still see students picking up even after we’re gone,” senior Emma Schut said. 

Eva advised their successors, “Don’t take it as a chore but an opportunity to help, and be willing and happy to do it.”

Read more from Thornapple Kellogg: 
Faux toxic spill averted, thanks to teams of students
Leader in school ready for new challenge

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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