The Shawnee Mission East Heralders club has been one of the few school traditions that have stuck around since the beginning of the school. The school ambassadors. The girls who walk with ancient trumpets before basketball games. Just about any alumni can identify the Heralders.
It was started for the most elite, prettiest girls in the school. The best of the best. A Heralder was the thing to be. Over the years, that tradition has evolved.
In the past, dozens of applications came in every year; only the girls highest on the social ladder were accepted.
This year, very few applications were turned in, making little competition for a spot. All applicants were accepted to the position of being school ambassadors. The general interest for the spot down fell drastically.
“An SME Heralder used to be ‘the thing to be” said senior Heralder Kiera Hartl. “It isn’t as much anymore, but it is still fun to be a part of a tradition that the school doesn’t want to get rid of.”
Although there isn’t nearly as much competition for the position, there have been no complaints from the 2015-2016 Heralders. They have enjoyed coffee during seminar rehearsals, bonding through their job and through keeping this tradition in tact. The senior Heralders keep this legacy by mentoring juniors to take over their job next year.
Junior Rebecca Sheridan is new to heralding this year. She has been taught by the senior Heralders, Hartl, Kylie Schultz, Caroline Bert and Bella Telkin, who were taught by the seniors before them.
“The seniors have really stepped up to the plate,” Sheridan said. “They have helped us [juniors] learn how to walk and all the other customs.”
Next year, Sheridan, along with her fellow junior heralders, Carson Camp, Lucy Blake and Ramie Churchill will mentor a new group of heralders, teaching them the same tradition they were taught the year before.
The Heralders have began each home basketball game and are “the face of the school” at reunions, according to Hart, for a very long time. Even though they aren’t exactly who they used to be, the girls enjoy being a part of the seemingly ancient tradition.