#PWestPride: A universal hashtag for the West Community


Sarah Booth

Sophomore Ashley Avery poses with the newest shirt that includes universal hashtag #PWestPride on the back.

Hashtag: the word you hear everywhere across social media. Hashtags mark keywords or topics in a Tweet like #selfie, #humpday and #springbreak. It was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize information and create instant links to the latest trends. And now, the use of the hashtag has spread itself to Instagram, Facebook and Parkway West.

Athletic Director Brian Kessler along with freshman class principal Kate Piffel collaborated to create a universal school hashtag.

“We wanted to further our sense of community within the school. We hoped that by creating a hashtag for the school to utilize we could build unity between students, staff and parents,” Piffel said.

Kessler hosted a contest to all students and faculty asking for email submissions of hashtags they thought best represented the school.. One hundred and twenty entries were sent, leaving it up to the faculty to vote for the winning hashtag.

“I thought having a contest for the student body would be fun. We got a lot of strong submissions and ended up merging two different suggestions from both faculty and students together to come up with #PWestPride,” Kessler said.

People who use Twitter often were found to be the ones most involved in the contest. With the hashtag now open to use freely online, Kessler and everyone with a Twitter account can view who is using the hashtag.

“Administration greatly encourages the use of #PWestPride,” Kessler said. “All of us who have accounts try to tweet it often, and I’ve seen a lot of students incorporate it in their tweets when they’re talking about school events, especially recently for the Glow Dance.”

The goal is to keep the hashtag alive and continue to have it for convenience, school spirit and easy access to the latest trends and events taking place in school.

“The hashtag will be featured on the 2015-2016 edition of the planner, and we want to keep putting it on our t-shirts,” Kessler said. “We want everyone to be involved in using our universal hashtag so that we can keep sharing the pride we have in our school.”