Delaware Hayes High School held its third annual House Games Friday and awarded the House Cup to Sugar Grove.
Hayes Principal Richard Stranges said the House Games were 34 events taking place throughout the day and all over the school that pitted the houses at Hayes against each other to see which house would gain the most points and earn the House Cup.
Stranges said this is the third House Games and the third year for the House system at Hayes. He explained the system was started three years ago after class sizes continued to grow. Dividing students into one of the eight houses gives students more opportunities to connect to each other, Stranges added.
“When you get 1,700 students in a school, you want to look for opportunities to be a part of something,” Stranges said. “In today’s world, the more students are connected the safe and the better the place is. Our goal at Hayes is to connect as many students as we can.”
Stranges said students meet with their house every day and compete in house events or clubs several times a month.
He added the houses are named after historical school houses in Delaware County, and every teacher and staff member is a member of a house, which helps grow the community.
Friday’s House Games competition including athletic events like dodgeball and soccer, academic events like math and science challenges, and artistic challenges like pottery and bench decoration.
“It’s made such a difference in our high school,” Stranges said.
Maria Isabell, a senior, said she has enjoyed the house system at Hayes.
“It’s amazing,” she said. Isabell added the houses are fun, and she’s met people and became friends with other students she would normally never meet. “The teachers give us a lot of support and help and take care of us. It’s a good way to meet new people.”
Juniors Hannah Coleborn and Hanna Robinson said they both liked the house system and thought the House Games were fun but wished there was a little more flexibility when it comes to the daily house period.
Delaware Hayes Vice Principal Rex Reeder said the school will continue to tweak the house system going forward, and the school is always looking for student input.
“We want to get student input and make it more student led,” Reeder said. “We’ve only gotten more and more participation. I’m happy where it is, but there’s more room to improve. Flexibility means evolving to meet students’ needs.”
Reeder said he considered the house games to be a success since every one of the 34 events was full to capacity for participants.
At the end of the day, Sugar Grove was awarded the House Cup, taking it from Steamtown, who has held the House Cup since the House Games began in 2016.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.