UTC: Unity, Toughness, Class make up the Tigers
Daniela Reyes and Emma Boucher were brought to tears the moment it was announced that school would be closed for at least six weeks.
They are often seen together, both working in ASB for Battle Ground High School.
On that day, though, Reyes was home with a cough. By then, students were told to stay home if they had a cough or a fever.
Still, Reyes, as the student body president, can never just stay away completely.
She was on the phone with Boucher, who was in the ASB class, when the announcement was made.
“I just instantly started crying, and my friends started crying,” Reyes said. “This class … these people have worked so hard to get events planned. With a snap of the finger, it all got cancelled. Nothing we can do about it. It’s a virus. It was just so heart-breaking.”
Those tears come from not just missing out on fun activities. They also come out of a love for Battle Ground High School.
“We’ve gotten so much better over the years with inclusion and growing with a sense of community,” Reyes said. “Our admin team has gotten so much better at including everybody. Everybody has somewhere to be, there are so many clubs and activities. Sincerely, there is something for everybody. They barely have to try to find where they quote-unquote ‘fit in.’ Sports. Arts. Leadership.”
Administrators, teachers, students, they are a team at Battle Ground.
“I think it’s the dynamic between the adults and the students,” Boucher said. “Everyone, for the most part, gets along. The principal, the admin, office staff, they are all very welcoming.”
It is all about UTC at BGHS.
“Unity, Toughness, and Class,” Boucher said. “Unity is our strongest point, just how we stick together and care for each other in the school.”
They all work together for those in need, too.
“We try really hard to make resources available to people,” Reyes said, noting, for example, the food pantry.
The teachers, she added, are committed to helping.
“They really want the best for their students. Every student has their teacher, the teacher they can run to when they need someone to talk to,” Reye said. “So many different teachers with different personalities, but there is always somebody for everybody.”
Reyes and Boucher are proud to attend a school that can say that. It also is a reminder of what they are missing right now.
“I just miss my friends and seeing people in the hallway,” Boucher said. “You don’t realize how many people you do interact with during the day.”
“So much that I miss,” Reyes said. “Wow, it’s crazy. I never realized what a big part school was in my life until it was taken away from me.”
One thing really stood out for Reyes.
“Walking through that main office, ‘Good morning!’ I always get greeted with so many smiles,” she said. “Our admin team is devoted to greeting everyone with a smile. They’re always greeting you with joy and happiness. Even if I’m grumpy, I can’t help but get happy when seeing them.”
Reyes and Boucher are looking forward to a return to normal one day. When they do get to go out and about, they will see the BG stickers, the Tigers logo.
“We definitely have a sense of Tiger pride,” Reyes said. “Makes me proud of our community.”
“Most of the time, you just smile at someone,” Boucher said when she sees someone wearing Battle Ground gear. “Just knowing they are in our community.”
Reyes also appreciates the big crowds at the big games.
“One thing that I always like to brag about is our student section at sporting events,” she said. “Might not be as big as Union or Camas, but we are so loud and amazing. Our student section is so committed to our teams.”
They are, after all, part of one big family at Battle Ground.
“It’s a safe place,” Boucher said. “Daniela and I probably stay more than an hour past school every single day. It’s a second home, kind of.”
Advice to other students during the school closure:
“We just have to stay positive,” Reyes said. “I know it’s really hard, especially for our seniors. No use in getting angry. Not much we can do about it. Stay positive. I know it’s so cliche, but it’s important to stay together as a community.”
At home, she is trying to find the blessings in this chaos. She “finally” cleaned her room, she said. Oh, and her mom is having fun at her expense. “Daniela is eating dinner with us!” she says, like it’s a new thing.
“There is definitely something hidden in this sadness,” she added.
Boucher starts out every day with something positive.
“Stick to a routine. I make sure to make my bed every day,” Boucher said. “Just a good way to reset. If you make your bed, reset, it just feels better.”