Learnin’ in a Winter Wonderland: Clark Jr. High to host Santa event

by | Dec 14, 2017 | Education

Clark Principal Casey Gunnels, center, presents the first-ever Clark “Doory” award to the Heather Wood and Jessica Foote, who helped create a Winter Wonderland in their hall. (Courtesy Jean Ann Collins)

Santa Claus is making a stop at Clark Jr. High Dec. 18 and 19 for the school’s first-ever “Winter Wonderland.” The event will be held each night from 4-8 p.m.

“The purpose of the event is to start a tradition in the community; to give Princeton a place to come together and bring their kids to see Santa,” said principal Casey Gunnels.

Gunnels said he saw a need for some more holiday activities in the area.

“I would love to see our community come together. This is primarily geared toward our families with young children, but everyone is welcome,” he said. “My wife actually came up with the idea last year when we took our kids to Fairview for Santa pictures.”

Several student groups are working together to make this happen, including cheerleaders who will be Santa’s elves.

With the Clark Student Council in charge of decorations, there is currently a hall decorating contest underway to help transform Clark into the desired Winter Wonderland. There’s even an igloo and wood-burning fireplace (OK, maybe those are just twinkling Christmas lights).

The event is open to the public and will feature pictures with Santa for $5 (bring your own camera).

“The main draw will be pictures with Santa,” Gunnels said. “We decided to let parents take their own pictures instead of having a photographer in hopes that he will be able to visit with more people and the lines won’t be so bad.”

There will also be a station for children to make their own ornaments (cost is $3) and some games for kids. Clark will open its concession stand that will feature holiday goodies, such as hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and candy canes.

On the first night, the Clark band will be on hand to play holiday tunes, while the choir will be caroling through the halls.

Money raised from the two-night Winter Wonderland will be used to fund student group activities, as well as pay for incentive prizes, awards and field trips.

“It will be worth the trip to visit Santa Claus here in Princeton,” Gunnels said. “Plus, Mr. Hackman and myself will be in our Christmas suits. I would describe them as festive and a little ridiculous. They are a formal version of the ugly Christmas sweater. So it’s worth coming to Winter Wonderland if you like seeing me make a fool of myself.”

By Jean Ann Collins • PISD Communications Coordinator • [email protected]

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