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School’s open, and there’s plenty to do

WORTHINGTON -- The hallways have been quiet for three months, but they'll be ringing with voices today as Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School open their doors for the 2016-2017 school year.

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Freshman members of the Worthington High School Student Council pose with senior officers Thursday in Centennial Park. Student Couuncil is just one of multiple ways in which students at WHS can ger involved. (Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The hallways have been quiet for three months, but they’ll be ringing with voices today as Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School open their doors for the 2016-2017 school year.

As students find their classes and settle into their new routines, homework won’t be the only option to fill their after-school hours.

“I think it’s great that we have so many activities for our kids,” said Josh Dale, District 518 Activities Director. “There are opportunities for all different interests, not just sports.

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“We promote as much as we can to make the best high school experience possible,” Dale continued. “Recruitment to get different students involved can be tough. We try hard to make sure that kids are aware of the activities we offer, that they make the connection that these things are for them. For some of them, it’s hard to come out of their comfort zones and try new things.”

Each semester offers new seasonal activities, though some extracurriculars are year-round. Business Professionals of America (BPA) is one activity which covers much of the school year.

“We meet year-round, on Mondays, for half an hour,” said Penny Troe, a 20 year veteran as BPA advisor. “That may not seem like a lot of time, but I also see the kids at the concession stand or other places and that’s what takes most of our time.”

BPA is in charge of all of the concession stands at any sporting event throughout the year. They also run the school store and the video board. It goes three times a year to competitions, where students are tested on computer programs, graphic design and extemporaneous speech.

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Another year-round activity for any interested student is Student Council, advised by Kerry Johnson.

“Student Council’s primary focus is working to create a school culture for WHS,” explained Johnson. “We can’t take for granted that people know about all our activities, or know what Homecoming is. We promote student culture and student life.”

One goal of Student Council this year is to celebrate student success.

“We want to take time to acknowledge student accomplishments in all avenues,” Johnson elaborated. “To show that all high school experiences have equal value. So if a student goes to state for Knowledge Bowl, we’ll recognize that just as much as if they go to state for a sport. We will also be doing a send-off for every team that makes it to state --  whether in a sport or other club.”

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Johnson was quick to acknowledge the community support that Student Council receives.

“One big thing we do each year is to raise money for Toys for Tykes,” Johnson said. “Shopko and Walmart have helped us a great deal toward our goal of $8,000.”

With $6,000 left to raise on its own for the toys, Student Council uses many creative ways to bring in the money.

“Teachers can buy the opportunity to wear jeans to work,” smiled Johnson. “And we have food sales. Mr. Koller’s Puppy Chow is always a huge hit.”

New national food guidelines regulating fat, sodium and sugar content of foods sold on campus have changed the menu of the annual food sales.

“It has become more challenging,” Johnson admitted. “Kids liked the high caloric options. We used to be able to have more ethnic options, too. Students would make egg rolls or other things, but they’re fried and we can’t make them anymore. Kids spent money on those items. Now we have to work a little harder to find things the students will buy.”

While BPA and Student Council run for the entire year, Pep Band, led by band director Jon Loy, is only a fall and winter option because no spring sports as of yet have pep band support on the sidelines. Marching Band, too, is seasonal.

“I’m really excited for our marching band season this year,” Loy enthused. “I’ve never had 170 kids in band before. I think that our new parade show will really make a splash at all the parades we attend. We have a lot of pride in our musical excellence. You’ll hear us coming down the street, that’s for sure!”

There are eight parade shows yet to come for the Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band, with its annual Turkey Day Parade appearance being a fantastic local option for all to enjoy.

The fall lay, also directed by Loy, is, by definition, a seasonal extracurricular option. “Totally Red!,” adapted from the Little Red Riding Hood story, tells the beloved story in five different theatrical styles, including a melodrama, an Elizabethan retelling, a hip-hop version, an avant-garde styling and a vaudeville production.

“We are hoping to have enough students that each retelling can be a different cast,” Loy explained. “There’s lots of room for involvement and creativity on the kids’ part. It will be a great family show with something for every age group to enjoy.”

With Loy directing and Judy Johnson on the technical side of things, the play will run at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11-12 at the Memorial Auditorium.

The extracurricular opportunities at WHS are not limited to the above mentioned options. Knowledge Bowl, Speech, Robotics, FFA, the school musical and more fill out the roster. Along with the various athletics, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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