The Rise of Orange Nation

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The Rise of Orange Nation

Senior Brandon Rodriguez shows off his Orange Nation Pride at the football season opener.

Senior Brandon Rodriguez shows off his Orange Nation Pride at the football season opener.

Alexa Colindres

Senior Brandon Rodriguez shows off his Orange Nation Pride at the football season opener.

Alexa Colindres

Alexa Colindres

Senior Brandon Rodriguez shows off his Orange Nation Pride at the football season opener.

Brennan Guilds

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Much has changed coming into the new school year: new teachers, more food choices and an influx of school spirit. This increase in spirit was galvanized by the rebirth of the “Orange Nation” movement, which was arranged by a handful of passionate teachers and students. 

Spearheading this campaign is science teacher Matthew Johnson. “My goal is to unify our school behind school spirit,” Johnson said. And he has certainly delivered after a gargantuan turnout at the Mill Madness pep rally and a huge success against the Frederick High School Cadets.

Both events were largely publicized through the school’s Snapchat account, which has also played a key role in getting the news out there in order to draw support for the school. “The biggest thing is making more events that are accessible to the modern culture,” Johnson said. Multiple giveaways have also taken place both at the events and on Snapchat, giving everything away from spirit gear to free meals and half-priced burritos.

Another large proponent of getting the students on their feet is the students themselves. Leading that wing of the spirit movement is senior Brandon Rodriguez. From his hype at games to his amusing stories, he really encapsulates the spirit we want here at Watkins Mill.

“Last year I really wanted to start Orange Nation back again.  Mr. Johnson and I would always talk about it,” Rodriguez said, “Over summer with Mill Madness happening and the Youth Summer Summit, I realized, oh man this is good.”

“This school was dead before, you’d see plain white walls everywhere that are plain and boring,” Rodriguez said. “I want to get the National Arts Honors Society to paint a new mural every year.”

As well as wanting to have murals on the walls, Rodriguez has also received permission for seniors and juniors to paint their parking spots from principal Carol Goddard, who is awaiting county approval, (provided they purchased a parking pass).

In addition to these improvements, Rodriguez has hinted at many more things in store for the school, including a possible Halloween scare. “There are some things I can’t say,” Rodriguez added. “We have a lot up our sleeves.”

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