By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — It is not, with regret, very often when the general public gets to see the accomplishments that happen daily in our high schools.
It becomes a special occasion, like a concert or an award, when the public takes notice. Next Thursday, Washington High School will invite the public to see what the school has accomplished with “Hatchet Highlight” night.
The night is the first of its kind for Washington, an idea Principal LeAnne Kelley brought with her from her previous post at Pike Central High School.
“I knew that a typical open house is not usually successful at the high school,” Kelley said. “What I had done at my other school was have a full-blown night of activities and it was very, very successful.”
The idea was presented to the teachers at WHS and Kelley said there was an enthusiastic response to be on a committee to help present the night.
“If we want to really include our community and our parents (the best way) is to highlight what the kids are doing at school,” Kelley said.
The night starts at 5:30 p.m. with a free chili supper in the high school cafeteria. The public is invited to spend time meeting the faculty and staff and eat chili and some desserts made by the school’s family and consumer sciences class.
“(We wanted to) be able to sit and talk and communicate and have fellowship,” Kelley said.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., the action moves to the Hatchet House, where exhibits and demonstrations will be set up from many of the academic disciplines at WHS, what Kelley called a “collage of activity.”
“We have many, many clubs that choose to, they are putting together something to highlight that night,” Kelley said.
For example, the school’s Freshman Academy has been designing posters for the evening. The classes decided to create the posters with words that have meaning for kids.
“Each one of the classes will be making a poster that parents can vote on and that class will win a prize,” Kelley said.
Also on display will be the winning SEAPERCH entries from the WHS NJROTC corps and the Project Lead the Way class. The two recently won first and second place in regional competition in Bloomington and will be heading to the state round in Jasper.
“Some of the curricular classes, you will see classroom activities,” Kelley said. “They are activities that are hands-on and interactive.”
Kelley said there will also be raffles and drawings. An iPod shuffle is one of the items up for drawing.
“We also have some prizes we are coming up with so people can win,” Kelley said.
At 7:30 p.m., there will be performances in the WHS auditorium from the school’s arts classes.
“We have some special activities planned,” Kelley said.
“It’s going to be a fun night, and guess what? It’s free. We want the parents and the community as a whole to be invited and to feel welcome into Washington High School and to see the great things that are happening. Because our kids deserve that.”