Eagles’ “Swoop” and St. Joe’s Hawk Crash PSSA Rally

Surprise Guests "Fly In" for RA's PSSA Pep Rally
Posted on 04/12/2019
Mrs. Herman and "Swoop" on Stage

Phoenixville, PA - This time each year, students at the Renaissance Academy (RA) come together for their annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment [1] (PSSA) pep rally.  The rally is a way to raise student’s enthusiasm to do their very best on the PSSA tests.  Today during the K-6th grade rally, the student received two very special, surprise and feathered guests.

After watching a brief motivational video clip, Christine Herman, Lower School Principal introduced the first visitor, the St. Joseph’s University mascot, Hawk.  Known for flapping its wings 3,500 times during a game, the St. Joe’s Hawk is one of the most decorated mascots in college sports, having been called the best college mascot by ESPN College Basketball Magazine and Sports Illustrated.  The students cheered and clapped for the flapping mascot.

Next up, Mrs. Herman announced that one of the Philadelphia “underdogs” was “in the house".  As the young crowd began to cheer, the Philadelphia Eagles’ mascot “Swoop” burst onto the stage, dancing to the Eagles fight song and donning his famous “00” jersey.

Swoop stayed for most of the rally and helped keep the students focused on the assembly speakers who included Mrs. Herman; RA senior, AbuBakr Sangare; and former RA 5th & 6th grade staff members who sent along personal video messages to encourage students to always believe in themselves and to do their best on the upcoming assessments.

Adding to the festive nature of the rally were the RA Band, led by Band Director, Jonathan Springer and the future RA cheer squad, led by Head Cheer Coach, Naomi Siedlecki.  The young cheerleaders participated in cheer camp that focused on routines specifically for the rally performance.

Channel 6 ABC News was on site to film the events.  The news footage should air on both the 6pm and 11pm newscasts.

Mrs. Herman, who was instrumental in the organization of the rally said that she was truly pleased to give this fun opportunity to the students.  “PSSA testing is a long process for the young learners.  It is important to get the students excited about the next few days of testing, as well as, to give them a chance to just have fun and celebrate being a student.” 


[1]   Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, also known as PSSA, are standardized tests administered to public schools in the state of Pennsylvania. These assessments measure the progress of students from 3rd grade to 8th grade, and 11th grade. PSSA test results provide actionable data that will help parents, teachers, and students improve academic performance in reading, math, writing, and science.

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