WINDHAM — There are dozens of clubs at Windham High.
Athletes, musicians, scholars, actors — all have a group in which to shine.
But there’s only one club for everyone, the Jaguar Community Alliance.
“Our basic goal of the club is to make sure everyone feels involved, has a place and the school is together,” junior Caroline Horrigan said.
The alliance, now in its fourth year, grows every year. Eighty-eight students belong.
Teacher Mike Welch started the alliance, which is patterned after a similar club he advised at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.
“When a student feels connected to their school, that feeling of belonging can open the doors to many positive effects, including improved grades and a greater rate of participation in extracurricular and curricular activities,” Welch said.
The alliance has brought together a football captain and members of the chess team, popular upperclassmen and shy freshmen.
The group hosts an event each month. Sometimes it’s a movie night or video game night. As many as 60 students have attended.
Always, there is fun involved. The alliance has an ugly sweater day planned for after the holidays.
This week is all about Friday’s faculty-versus-students flag football tournament that will benefit Windham’s Helping Hands, which helps families in need.
“It’s in our community,” Caroline said, discussing why the alliance chose to aid Helping Hands. “The people in Helping Hands are close to us.”
Junior Cassie Haley said the chance to aid Helping Hands is a reason she’s excited about the event Friday.
“I love helping out the community,” Cassie said.
There is a lot of chatter about the tournament, in which the faculty has prevailed for three years.
Assistant principal Bob Dawson, passing through the office, asks, tongue in cheek, what alliance members have been arrested for now.