(Secaucus, NJ––December 23, 2021) The halls at High Tech are, quite literally, decked this year. Two new traditions—a door-decor battle between homerooms, and an academy-vs-academy tree decorating contest—have helped generate a festive vibe on campus this year, thanks to initiatives from the junior student council and Ms. Kathy Young, principal of High Tech High School.
The eye-catching academy tree decorating contest invites homerooms from each academy—Arts, CulSci, and D|Fab—to contribute decorations to holiday trees representing their academy. Displayed in the student common area, the challenge had one last trick: all material needed to be made by hand.
Each academy selected a specific theme to guide their approach. The Arts academy, led by Supervisor Steven Ricciardi, chose “soaring” as their theme, and adorned their tree with origami hummingbirds and butterflies made from recycled paper. As an added touch, Audio/Video instructors Gregg Ascolese and Chris DePierro added a holiday train set rigged with a GoPro camera to take viewers on a virtual ride through a quaint Christmas village.
The CulSci academy, under the care of Supervisor Samantha Doria, selected the theme of “upcycling.” Their tree’s festive decorations came from materials around campus, including cardboard boxes, pine cones, and empty water bottles. Students and staff used cardboard boxes to make gingerbread ornaments and turned water bottles into snow globes. The goal for this academy was to balance eco-consciousness with a festive spirit.
The D|Fab academy, guided by Supervisor Gregory Simon, used their design sensibilities to celebrate “All Things D|Fab,” with the added challenge of using recycled materials. Most of the homerooms created ornaments using bottle caps, circuit boards, and other materials, the students in Mr. Bolich’s homeroom took it to the next level. These students created a wooden “garland” which spelled out the names of the D|Fab major classes—Architecture & Design, Industrial Design & Animation, Computer Science, Wood Technology, and Robotics Engineering.
The door-decor challenge, proposed by the junior student council, was taken up by teachers throughout the building in every academy. To participate, teachers used their creativity to make the most festive entryway possible. Check out the photo gallery below to see some of the ways the HTHS staff and students celebrated.
These two challenges are welcome contributions to the many ways HTHS has historically celebrated the holiday season. From the 11th annual sock-collecting drive to the Generosity-for-Generations Giving Tree, High Tech High continues to make the most of the holiday season.