LAYTON -- It was hard to tell who was more excited -- the teachers or the students -- as they danced and partied in celebration of their school's spirit on Friday at Heritage Elementary.
As the school encouraged kids to make better choices throughout the year, teachers benefited from the consequences of students turning in their assignments on time, being tardy less frequently and choosing to be nice to one another.
"There have definitely been less problems this year as we've empowered them to make good choices. Wherever they are, they can make good decisions," said Principal Cheryl Christensen.
The school spirit party kicked off with music and with PTA President Melanie Adams reminding students that the party was for them.
"This is to celebrate how awesome you guys have been this year and the great choices you've made every day, so this is your day," Adams said.
Students enjoyed a parade from Layton city police cars and fire trucks, with the sirens setting off a round of claps and cheers from the nearly 1,000 students.
Afterward, Layton Mayor Steve Curtis applauded students for their hard work.
"Good choices will determine our destiny and the people we will become," Curtis said.
The school was built shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
Christensen remarked about how community members helped choose the school's name as the nation realized how important freedom and one's heritage was at the time.
"As Heritage Elementary, we will always remember the tradition and values of our country," Christensen said.
Christensen also reminded students of the school mascot, the Husky Hero, named after husky dogs who are strong, powerful and fast.
She then had the students think about who comes to mind when they think about a hero.
"Sometimes you think of firemen and policemen because they help us, but anybody who shows courage is a hero. All of us can choose to be heroes," Christensen said.
During the party, students got to see a different side of their teachers as they danced to the Alice Cooper rock song "Schools Out."
Watching her teachers dance in front of the whole school was fifth-grade Amber Sabin's favorite part of the spirit party.
"I liked it when the teachers danced because it was fun to watch, and I'd never seen them do that before," Sabin said.
Ending the school year on a high note was something fifth-grader Zachary Dickson appreciated.
"It's really fun to go out at the end of the year and have some fun like this," he said.