Stand Out, Be Loud, Be A Wildcat

Dallastown has newly been introduced with a shiny, brand – new mantra, “Fiercely Committed.”
This large banner in our High School gymnasium, displays our new mantra, Fiercely Committed. Created by input from students, community members, and school personnel.
This large banner in our High School gymnasium, displays our new mantra, “Fiercely Committed.” Created by input from students, community members, and school personnel.
Ava Sanders

It’s on spirit wear, posters, and just about every single sign in the parking lot.

“Fiercely Committed.”

What exactly does this new “mantra” seen just about everywhere around Dallastown actually mean?

At the end of the 2022 – 23 school year, a survey was sent to Dallastown students, teachers, and parents alike.

The survey focused on finding what people thought of and saw in the Dallastown community; The intent was to discover just who exactly we are.

There were over 300 responses sharing words and phrases that summed up what it meant to be a Wildcat.

“The verbs and adjectives that came back were things that were special about Dallastown,” DAHS Principal Dr. Misty Wilson said.

Some of the most common responses included words such as “unique, committed, and strong.”

The search for the new mantra was aided by internationally known class ring & yearbook company, Jostens.

Jostens collaborated with the school, encouraging the district to define their sense of self that was more than just a potential descriptive adjective.

“When working with Jostens, they deem it as an identity,” Wilson says.

After the responses came in, a committee of students, teachers, and administrators met to discuss the results.

“I knew our goal going into it was to find Dallastown’s “identity,” however I didn’t know it was going to be all around the campus as much as it is.” senior Kiara McNealy said.

Identities are created by qualities, what you think, who, and what you are. For Instance, what is a Wildcat?

“Biologically, a Wildcat is committed to their family,” Wilson comments.

Family, by definition, is a group of related things. It stands to be a symbol of commitment, our commitment of what we do, what we are, and what we stand for.

“I was a part of the brainstorming process. We came up with a lot of different ideas and had to dig deep to figure out what Dallastown High School really is about,” McNealy says.

Overall, finding this name for our school was a pristine kind of process, as no other kind of task had been attempted before.

In the past, Dallastown has been branded with many other “slogans” and attempts to motivate students through quote or “one-year themes” as Wilson describes them.

Two commonly known past themes were “Together, we can do great things” and “Find your connection.”

Although those were good sentiments, they didn’t exactly sum up Dallastown as a whole. Something that appealed and represented everyone was needed.

“It’s so inclusive for anyone and everyone at Dallastown no matter what they do; whether it be sports, arts, band etc., it relates to everyone,” McNealy said.

Dallastown higher – ups proudly acknowledge and clearly state that this idea was inspired through the surrounding created community.”  I’m not sure who is being quoted here.

“We continue to be proud of the idea that we didn’t create it, but rather our community and students,” Wilson says.

“Fiercely Committed” is intended to be more than just a one-year kind of thing. Its tenure has begun; here to stay and stand strong.

It is important to also recognize how this may have been overlooked by many of the students, sharing the story of just how this came to be is vital to create a complete student community.

Biologically, a wildcat means to be committed to their family.

— Dr Wilson

“I know it’s not taken super seriously by all the students but if you genuinely take a second to understand it, I think the Mantra does have a lot of meaning behind it,” McNealy says.

This entire process shows yet another example of how togetherness is a vital part of what we do here at Dallastown, of what we do in our lifetimes, and what we will continue to do.

Finding our place, and supporting you as your own individual, in finding your own place to stand.

Identity is not just quite a name, a personality, or a character. But rather a person, People at large. It is the people who create it, it is also the people it is describing.

We, at Dallastown, are artists, educators, writers, musicians, students, learners, and overall, inspiring people.

But above all, we are “Fiercely Committed.”

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