First Hour Room Decoration Contest Promotes School Spirit

Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer

At the height of school spirit, it is easy to overlook the effort that EHS students and teachers put into inspiring enthusiasm.  Behind the parades, football games and dances, teachers are encouraging their students to carry their school spirit into the classroom.

EHS holds an annual classroom spirit decoration competition, which is voted on by the StuCo members, according to sophomore Tyler Chrenka.  

The winner on the third floor was biology teacher Julia Doll.  In fact, Chrenka said Mrs. Doll’s first hour class happened to be the only class on the third floor to participate in the competition.

The class designed “a trip around Edwardsville,” according to Chrenka.  The decorations included well-known places around the town, including Annie’s Frozen Custard and the EHS football field.

“As you entered the back door we had a tour guide to take you through the night city of Edwardsville,” Mrs. Doll said.

The decorations were complimented by students who were dressed up for the different roles at a football game.  There were football players, spectators in the stands and cheerleaders doing backflips, according to Mrs. Doll.

“Then we had the ‘football team’ in jerseys run out and do the cheer ‘I believe that we will win,’” Mrs. Doll said.  “They ran past the crowd and hit hands with the spectators.”

Mrs. Doll said that her class discussed what “a night in the city” was and what decorations were possible when deciding their theme.  Some ideas were not plausible considering time and materials.

“We had a couple of other things planned that we wanted to do but there was too much to do,” she said.

The winner on the second floor was French teacher Rachel Symanski’s first hour class.  Her classroom was filled with representations of famous monuments in Paris.

Ms. Symanski said the students built replicas of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge and other famous monuments in Paris.  The monuments were complimented by fairy lights hung above.

The students were involved in the presentation by laying on the ground and using their cell phone flashlights to shine light on the city. 

Ms. Symanski said that her class had a high level of participation in the event this year.  She scheduled an “idea day” in which they chose the theme and then laid out days for the students to work on decorating.

Childhood Development teacher Nicole Heap’s class also took part in the event, and it was the decided winner on the first floor.   

“Her room was ‘a ticket into the city,’” Chrenka said.  “We were served food and drinks, and there were strobe lights and tents everywhere.”

The class decided on a theme of ‘New York City,’ according to Ms. Heap. 

“We had a subway when you walked in and a road behind it,” she said. “On one side of the road we had a restaurant and on the other side we had a street player and some homeless people.”

Ms. Heap said that her students put a great deal of effort into the competition.  Her classes have participated in the past, but have never received first place.

“We all really wanted to win,” she said.