Pointing in a different direction

Renaissance decides to host carnival


Courtney Pinnell

Coach Chad Lamason and Mr. Carlo Atienza dancing at the Renaissance assembly, March 12, 2015.

The majority of students waking hours is spent at EHS with their classmates and faculty learning. Students spend generally eight hours a day at school plus two hours of extra curricular activities. On top of that field trips, state for sports and tournaments all add to these hours. Students spend on average 50 hours per week at school or on school.

Fifty hours a week is the equivalent of a full-time job. Learning is the primary focus of students’ lives.

Renaissance strives to acknowledge all that work and dedication. For the last seven years, Renaissance has held an academic pep assembly where the community honored academic achievements, witnessed the naming of teacher of the year and experienced student skits and performances.

Students seem to value acknowledgement of their efforts; 74 percent of the 121 students voted that academic achievements should be celebrated, according to a Hub Twitter poll.

The Renaissance Leadership Team is looking to do just that differently this year, organizing a carnival on campus for all students, April 29, instead of the traditional academic pep assembly.

“I am a lot more excited about the carnival,” Emma Cocos, Renaissance Leadership Team member, said. “I wasn’t looking forward to the assembly because I know a lot of kids just go home. It’s just not as fun. The carnival is something new and different that we can do outside while we play games and hang with our friends.”

Leadership team members are hoping to have bounce houses, carnival games, recreational sports and food at the carnival. They are also exploring the option of having a jumbo screen in the courtyard that will be playing movies.

The teacher dance and awards will still take place. The team is debating on how the arrangement will go. Right now they are looking at having each grade level go in shifts.

Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher qualify for Renaissance. Around 1,200 students are Renaissance members, Ms. Kirsten Brauch, Renaissance sponsor, said.

The historic flooding compromised the entire PE complex and fate of the academic pep assembly usually held the day before spring break. Gym A didn’t reopen until, Feb. 25, less than two weeks before the assembly date.

The tight and unclear timeline made securing the company that does the sound and lighting questionable. So, instead of having that risk the money required to secure the effects company the leadership team sought alternatives, Kaleb Overby, Leadership Team member, said.

“It is centered on what the students want to do,Mr. George Calhoun, Administrative Renaissance sponsor, said. If students are not into having the assembly anymore and they want to do it in a different way then I am fine with it.”

The assembly, held the day before the start of spring break, has always been voluntary. Last year, around 60 students checked out early and 339 students did not attend school. Gym A only holds 1,384 people, and EHS has an enrollment of over 1,800.

“A lot of people leave for the assembly and don’t stay,” Jordan Bee, Leadership Team member said. “So we wanted to do something that would be more interesting and engaging for students.”

Each year the Leadership Team spends around $8,000 on lighting, jumbo screens and stage additions. The program is self-funded. They raise money through parents, a senior parking spot painting fundraiser, restaurant nights, etc.

The school is spending approximately $6.67 per student to celebrate academic achievement.

“I mean if they just gave me seven dollars I would be happy,” Trevor Vogl (11) said. “You could do a lot with seven dollars.”

Matt Koltun (11) sees the value in using those seven dollars to recognize academic achievement.

“I think it is just about right because it’s not too much and it’s not too little,” Koltun said. “It’s two buck more than five dollars so it’s perfect.”

However, prone to motion sickness, Bridget Sisco (9) is not a huge fan of how her seven dollars is being spent, with the a carnival.

“Personally, I would like to have the assembly. As my first year here I was looking forward to it,” Sisco said.

Students throughout the week of the carnival will still get recognized for their academic achievements.

“Instead of just sitting in a gym for hours, the carnival is more hands on and interactive,” Tyler Allen (12) said. “There is a lot more activities, and it will gather more participation from everybody.”

All students are able to attend and admission will be free. The carnival will take place this April 29.