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Schools show spirit in ‘High School Musical’ competition

Las Vegas Academy is ranked in the top 10 and Foothill High School in the top 20 of a contest to promote the release of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”

Both schools are competing against high schools nationwide to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Disney sponsors the School Spirit contest, which is available to all high schools, grades 9 through 12, in the continental United States.

In order to increase their ranking, students must register from the “High School Musical 3” MySpace.com Web page and complete the tasks defined.

The tasks range in difficulty and include such things as:

• Adding the page as a friend.

• Uploading a High School Musical-themed video.

• Taking a “High School Musical” quiz.

In addition to tasks completed through MySpace.com, students also have an opportunity to send text messages from their cell phones to an assigned number once a day.

The rewards for the contest include a “High School Musical”-themed pep rally featuring Natasha Bedingfield, and a free trip to senior Grad Night at either Disneyland or Disney World available for up to 300 seniors and 30 chaperones from the winning school.

Disney’s Grad Night is an event at the beginning of June in which the park is shut down to the public and is open only to graduated seniors. Many schools across Clark County participate in this event each year.

Started by two seniors, the competition at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Visual and Performing Arts has spread into a schoolwide effort. Science teacher Josh Hager has chaperoned the senior Grad Night trip for three years and says the contest is a unique opportunity for the graduating class of 2009. Las Vegas Academy began ranked about 1,400 but has worked its way into the top 10.

“Tell everyone to participate,” says Hager. “Make their ears ring.”

The majority of students at Las Vegas Academy are involved in the competition. The seniors are especially excited to have the unique opportunity to show their school spirit because Las Vegas Academy does not have sports.

“I want LVA to win because we’re the best in Las Vegas, and I totally want to see Natasha Bedingfield,” senior Sabrina Lowe says.

The points earned are in relation to the number of students at the school to make the contest fair. Therefore, a school with a large student body does not have a numerical advantage in winning the grand prize over a school with a small student body.

At Foothill, the student council was in charge of the spirit competition. However, the school’s participation has been lacking because of other priorities, such as homecoming, an event Las Vegas Academy doesn’t have. That resulted in the lowering of Foothill’s ranking.

In addition, Foothill’s student population was listed wrong, leading to a miscalculation of points for activities completed, according to senior class president Brittany Johnson.

The student council plans to have senior pep rallies and assemblies to rouse participation again, Johnson says.

The contest started Aug. 29 and ends Nov. 3. Each eligible school has until that time to register on the “High School Musical 3” MySpace.com Web site and rally the participation.

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