Ask A Jag: Mrs. Ostonal


Nandini Dasari and Tina Luo

Q: What makes this year’s homecoming special? Why should we go?

A: “We haven’t been able to do it in so long. We had COVID last year and the year before, we had some things going on. So, I think that this just really gets us a chance to be back to somewhat normal, with students making those high school memories and getting to have that homecoming dance experience.”


Q: How was the theme for homecoming decided?

A: “The theme every year is decided by the students. I ask probing questions to flesh out their ideas. In the summer, the Student Council officers met, and we threw around some different ideas and different themes.”


Q: What goes into the planning process? How much time is spent, and how are the decorations made?

A: “Homecoming includes spirit days, the carnival, the ceremony, and the dance. I think the hardest part is having enough student groups participating to have the carnival, and the weather, because we don’t have control of it. This year’s carnival was cancelled because of the weather, and I feel bad for all of the groups that have put so much time and effort and even money into supplies. Coming up with enough to decorate the entire building is also a challenge. This year, we came up with the idea of every student in the building decorating a fish, because it is a jaguar family and we are all involved in homecoming. We handed out fish during advisory so every student had a chance to be represented, which I really loved about this year’s homecoming. I really like that this year we also involved the elementary schools and got them to do some decor. It connects at all levels, from elementary all the way to senior year. I hope that it gets to be a new tradition that we do. We took pictures and sent it to the elementaries so that the kids could see their stuff up on the wall, which is a big deal for elementary kids. If you’re not in student council, you just see the decorations show up and don’t see all the things behind it. They had to cut out over 3,000 fish and have been working on making things since August. The planning goes much further than this one week.”


Q: Are there any COVID precautions being taken at the dance?

A: “No, there’s really nothing different this year. We’re letting students choose what is good for them. I am glad that we were able to push homecoming back because earlier in September things were still very uncertain and numbers were really high.  Now that we’ve been able to push it back, the numbers in the school are much lower. I personally feel much more comfortable having a dance now.”


Q: What big projects is StuCo currently working on?

A: “Right now we’re surviving getting through homecoming. We do have blood drives in the fall and spring, so if you’re 17 or older you can donate. With COVID, the numbers are lower than ever, so there’s a really high need. You can donate whole blood but you can also donate plasma or platelets, which a lot of people don’t know. Plasma and platelets take longer, so people like to do that to be out of class longer. With platelets, every time someone goes through chemotherapy, they need around 10 units to replace what has been lost. There’s a lack of platelets, so the more people that donate, the better. The next big thing are the holidays in December.”