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Consecrated Woman Makes “Priceless” Contribution to School
Everest Academy in Clarkston, Michigan Has New Fight Song

Jana Crea (center) with the Everest cheerleading squad.
Jana Crea (center) with the Everest cheerleading squad.

by Kelly Luttinen

February 1, 2010. Clarkston, MI - Jana Crea has fond memories of her high school years. And she wanted to share a little bit of those memories with the students at the school where she teaches.

The Regnum Christi consecrated woman of 8½ years teaches middle and high school catechism at Everest Academy and Everest Collegiate High School in Clarkston, Michigan.  Though the Academy has been around nearly two decades, the high school is only in its second year. Thanks to Crea, the school now has a new school song. (Listen to the students singing the song at this link.)

“I really liked my high school fight song,” said Crea.  “It meant a lot to me.  And I thought it would be nice for the students at Everest to have the same experience.”

She said the idea came to her in what she describes as a “God” incident.  “We (the Consecrated Women who live at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center in Oxford, Michigan) like to play basketball on the weekends,” she explained.  “While I was playing, I started thinking about the games during my high school years and how we always had a fight song as part of the game.”

Crea is from Nezperce, Idaho, a town named for the American Indian tribe local to the area.  Her high school, also named Nezperce, used the fight song from the University of Idaho, incidentally where Crea later would attend college.

“I started thinking about our fight song and how it could be changed to use the Everest mascot and such.” Crea said she substituted the Everest mascot “Mountaineers” for the University mascot “Vandals,” and she implemented the idea of the Everest school motto, “Semper Altius,” which means “Always Higher.” (See song text below.)

Crea’s inspiration becomes reality

“At the time, I didn’t think it would really become the Everest fight song,” said Crea.  “I found out later the administration at Everest had just been talking about getting a school song.”

Crea said she told the other consecrated women at Oxford about her idea.  Celine Kelly, who serves as Director of Formation at Everest Girls School, especially liked it. 

“When Celine gets excited about something, she shares it,” said Crea.  Kelly told Everest Executive Director Mike Nalepa about Crea’s idea.

“He emailed me about it, and I wrote back about the idea, and he was really interested,” said Crea.

Nalepa then surprised Crea by asking her
Ann Lowney with Everest basketball team
Coach Ann Lowney huddles with her team and assistant coaches during the game with St. Thomas More Academy.
to step out of teaching one of her catechism classes to attend an impromptu meeting.  Crea said he had the rare opportunity to have all the administrative personnel available to hear the song idea.  “So I sang it to them, and they were really excited,” she says with a smile, remembering the experience.

Song music is among the best

The school’s athletic director, Ann Lowney, who was present at the meeting, immediately called the University of Idaho to see if she could get permission to use the music.  She was referred to the school’s music department, and would soon discover that her request was not a new one to the University.  The Idaho fight song was apparently very popular.  Lowney was told that the department had received many requests from other schools over the years to use it.  Crea would later discover the Idaho fight song was considered by some to be one of the “best” fight songs in the country.

But Crea said in Michigan, few are familiar with the song, which appealed to Lowney.  “I love it for two reasons,” said the Everest Athletic Director. “I love it because most high schools have a song in common with their state, such as the University of Michigan fight song.  I love it that we have a song nobody has ever heard. I also love that it is being sung by our kindergarteners all the way up to our 10th graders.  Everyone is singing it.  It’s just priceless to see the pride as they all sing that song.”

Interestingly, Lowney not only is the athletic director, but also coaches the boys’ high school basketball team, which is the first high school varsity team for Everest.  Despite the fact that all team members are freshmen and sophomores, the team is having some success. As of January 30, 2010, the team record was 6 - 5. 

 Lowney has coached on the college, high school, AAU levels, and played the game herself in high school and college.  She said she is enjoying the opportunity to help the team with its first season. 

Everest teams grow out of partnership

Because Everest Collegiate did not have enough students to form its own athletic teams last year, the school has formed a partnership with Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School in Waterford, MI, to form its teams.  However this year there were enough players to start the first Everest Collegiate boy’s basketball team.  The school also had enough interest to start its first varsity cheerleading squad.

Mikayla Thibodeau, a sophomore on the cheerleading squad, said the new fight song makes her class feel “very special.”

“We are the only ones we know of that have this fight song in our state,” said Christen Ireland, also a sophomore on the squad.

“The fight song has united us,” said cheerleader co-captain Hannah Terbrack. “It brought us more school pride.”

Cheerleading Coach Nancy Burgess is very proud of her squad.  “Only a few of the girls have had previous cheerleading experience, and they have come a long way since the beginning of the season. They really had to step up and get stronger. But hard work is what brings success.”

Burgess said the squad has worked especially hard on putting together the motions for the new fight song.  “The song is very inspiring,” she said. “It so much signifies everything Everest is about.”

Listen to the Everest fight song here.

Go Everest!

There’s no mountain that we will not climb…
Always higher to vict’ry sublime!
And we’ll conquer our foes ev’ry time….
Go Mountaineers! Go mighty Mountaineers!

C’mon and Go Everest Go!
Fight on with hearts brave and bold.
Foes will fall before your black and white and gold.

The victory…
Cannot be withheld from thee!
So all fight on for Everest…
C’mon Mountaineers Go!
Everest, Everest, Victory!

The victory…
Cannot be withheld from thee!
So all fight on for Everest…
C’mon Mountaineers…
Let’s go!



Related links

Altius Foundation
Immaculate Conception Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Anáhuac Network of Universities
Canyon Heights Academy
Clear Water Academy
Dublin Oak Academy

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