At the December assembly, students and staff gathered to celebrate the season and to recognize a variety of achievements happening at LCHS 7/8. Principal Dr. Gold opened the program by announcing the winners of the 2015/16 PTA Reflections Contest, an annual program that cultivates creativity, expression, learning, and healthy self-esteem through art.
Each year, all 7/8 students have the opportunity to enter original pieces of artwork, based on a common theme, in the following categories: dance choreography, literature, music composition, photography, special artist category, video production, and visual arts.
This year, there were fifty-one submissions, which according to 7/8 Reflections Chair Billie Melillo, is more than double the usual number of submissions. “It is amazing and inspiring to see the wide range of talent these kids have, and I am grateful that we provide them with an opportunity outside of the classroom to express themselves and shine. It shows me how important art is to our community and it reassures me that our kids have some balance with their rigorous academic schedule.”
The chosen theme for this year was “Let your imagination fly!” LCHS 7/8 winners will continue to compete at the district level, and with every win, will proceed to the succeeding local, state, and national levels. District-wide winners will have their pieces displayed at the District Awards Presentation at the District Office in the spring. Currently, other entries are on display in the 7/8 main office.
Next, Dr. Gold announced the winners of the 2015 Founder’s Day Awards, another annual program provided by the PTA, “to celebrate and honor the parents, teachers, administrators, staff members, and community volunteers who go above and beyond to support our schools and our students!” Three faculty members from LCHS 7/8 were recognized for their contributions.
Shannon Brascia, a 7/8 counselor, was honored “for her individual attention to students and her contributions to ASB.” Sam Picture, 8th grade history teacher, was honored “for inspiring students and preparing them for success in high school.” Christine Wolfe, 7th grade teacher, was honored “for her passion in bringing historical places and events alive by creating lesson plans that share her amazing travel experiences with her classes.” Two parent volunteers, Kathy Kovalcik and Tracy Rodriguez, were also recognized for their outstanding contributions.
After the awards, the audience enjoyed festive performances from multiple choral groups and the school band as well as a special presentation of Charlie Chaplin’s silent film The Gold Rush, with a musical scored accompanied by none other than the school orchestra. Director Kyle Smith conducted the young musicians through a medley of instrumental songs to compliment the story’s plot and emotions along with Chaplains physical comedy.
While assemblies often serve as platforms to deliver information to the student body, they also allow time for students to come together to share and to support one another. As Dr. Gold commented, “This assembly has highlighted some things happening in our school. It’s a chance to recognize the hard work our students are doing in drama, choir, orchestra, and band. They often get to show it to their parents, but not to their peers.” His favorite part of this assembly was “seeing how talented our kids are.”