Story and photos by Jamie Puckett –
Christmas is a magical time for everyone and the students and staff at West Union High School are no exception. In an effort to increase school spirit and to make the Dragon community stronger, the school decided to host several holiday events.
The season started with a special Thanksgiving luncheon in the cafeteria. Every year, the school provides the students a special lunch of turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, apples, and a healthy piece of cake. The students were called into the cafeteria and filed through the buffet style line one-by-one. A bit more planning went into the school’s Christmas luncheon. The Christmas luncheon was used as an opportunity to give the students a learning experience about eating a meal in public as they learned table manners, table conversation, and sharing.
The Student Senate also hosted different activities. First, the students spent nearly eight hours on their first day of Thanksgiving break to come in to the school and decorate the cafeteria. Snowflakes were hung from the ceiling, three Christmas trees were adorned with a plethora of ornaments, and three inflatables were placed on the stage. The Student Senate also decorated the school office and encouraged teachers to participate in the door decorating contest. About 50 classroom doors were decorated at WUHS, which gave the building a festive feeling. Finally, the Student Senate hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater decorating contest. Friendly competition was the name of the game this season. The Student Senate advisors are Mr. Carl Schneider and Ms. Jamie Puckett. Ms. Puckett’s yearbook class also sold candy cane grams as a holiday fundraiser.
Christmas also brought a brand new club to WUHS. Recently, a group of seniors started “The Heat” which is the newest fan section for WUHS athletics. The seniors took this initiative as a way to increase school spirit. The students will have several different themes for their section and will be debuting the club at the McDonald’s Holiday Classic.
The Performing Arts Department also put on a wonderful Christmas show. They held their annual Christmas Concert on Dec. 4. This is the first concert for the full performing arts department of the year. The junior high concert band opened the performance with their rendition of “Santa’s Toy March.” From there, the junior high concert band teamed up with the high school concert band to perform “Saint Nick’s March.” Finally, the high school band made some noise with their three songs: “Frosty the Snowman,” “When Honor Prevails,” and “The Christmas Song” with soloist Carl Schneider.
The individual choirs were also part of this celebration. The high school choir raised their voices to “Exultation,” “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” and “White Christmas” with soloists Madeline Spires and Leanna Poynter. The junior high choir sang “O, Holy Night” and the select chamber choir performed “Winter Cannon (In the Bleak Midwinter)”.
Finally the school’s two specialty bands performed. The steel band, a long standing tradition at WUHS, performed “Carol of the Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “Swinging’ Jingle Bells.” Two different groups of handbells also showed off their hard work and practice at the event. The handbells choir gave their presentation of “Joy to the World,” “Coventry Carol,” and “We Three Kings.” The concert band and steel drum band director is Mr. Carl Schneider and the choir, chamber choir, and handbells choir is directed by Mr. Neil DeAtley.
The highlight of the WUHS Christmas cheer came from the school’s various community service projects. The National Honor Society and National Beta Club teamed up for various events this year. The clubs hosted a school wide canned food drive. Each student and teacher was encouraged to bring in a food item for the less fortunate. MacKenzie Smith, Beta Club member and NHS student, said that “the canned food drive is one of [her] favorite service projects of the year. ” She said that it makes her feel good to help someone that has such a basic survival need, but also has a hard time fulfilling that need.
Our champion varsity cheerleading squad hosted a different kind of drive. This year, our cheerleaders collected unopened toys for kids in the area. Christa Williams, senior, said that she enjoys the drive because “putting a smile on a child’s face is what Christmas is all about.” The Beta and NHS clubs also collected toys. The cheerleading coaches include Mrs. Julie Weeks and Mrs. Jackie Hitt and cheer Mom Celia Welch, helped organize the drive. The Beta Club and NHS advisors are Ms. Tess Holloway and Ms. Erica Meade.
To see more photos of the events listed above, and other WUHS events, please visit: www.facebook.com/WUHSyearbook.