Teacher, Students Reflect On Faculty-Run Student Section

Flock Student Section In Second Year After Nest Took Over
The Flock, Football game, Sept. 1, Paint Wars
The Flock, Football game, Sept. 1, Paint Wars
McKenna Armstrong

For 14 school years, students had ownership of “The Flock” student section at athletic events and made the decisions for spirit leaders and themes. Last school year, staff made the decision to take over the student section, naming it “The Nest.” 

“I definitely see a difference in The Nest because now students are held more accountable and are being told what specific things to do, so some students do not like that or can’t handle it,”  senior Jonathan Neff said. 

The club’s sponsor is social studies teacher Kendall Benner.

“I enjoy being the sponsor for the Nest,” Benner said. “It’s really fun to see students rise to their own leadership roles and find their voice among peers. Although we made this change, 90% of students are still in charge. We just wanted to try a new run this year.”

Neff said there was a difference since school staff took authority over the student section. 

“From a student athlete point of view, I honestly think that it is better to have it run by students because when you add a teacher, it then becomes a club, and then you lose some privileges as if it was just a student body activity,” Neff said.

Senior Rian Martin, The Nest leader for the class of 2024, said a teacher in charge was a positive change. 

“I think that a teacher in charge of The Nest helps with participation because they could help get students to participate,” Martin said. 

Benner, who has worked at the school for four years said she believed this year was the year that most students went to football games, participated in the themes and halftime games.

 “We also got first place this year in Missouri for fall student sections, which is huge for us,” Benner said. “This is only the second year running The Nest, so I am hopeful this will increase as the years go on.” 

The title was decided by an online vote on  StudentSectionReport.org.

The Nest student leaders had some advice for students who planned to join the club. 

“I would encourage all who are spirited and outgoing should attempt to go out for The Nest because it’s a good way to meet new people and learn the ropes of school events,” Martin said.

Neff thinks being a student section leader helps with engagement.

“I will always tell kids to get involved at Staley, and The Nest is a great way because you become a leader of the student body,” Neff said.


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