|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
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.
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
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
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.
|Coach Ann Lowney huddles with her team and assistant coaches during the game with St. Thomas More Academy.|
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.
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
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.
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.
There’s no mountain that we will
Always higher to vict’ry sublime!
And we’ll conquer
our foes ev’ry time….
Go Mountaineers! Go mighty Mountaineers!
Go Everest Go!
Fight on with hearts brave and bold.
Foes will fall before your black and white and gold.
Cannot be withheld from thee!
So all fight on
C’mon Mountaineers Go!
Everest, Everest, Victory!
Cannot be withheld from thee!
So all fight on for