Out with the old in with the new

The Renaissance team has decided to no longer have a carnival


Kaylee Todd

Norrim Holder (11), Michael Orso (11), Sara Mocker (10), Hayley Jakovich (10), and Cameron Robinson (10) play tug of war, April 29, 2016.



An Inflatable bungee race course that tethers contestants to the starting point, an obstacle courses that towers over classmates and requires crawling and bouncing through barriers and games painted the landscape of the Renaissance Carnival.

The Renaissance Carnival celebrated students and their academic accomplishments: GPAs of 3.5 or higher, department students of the month and year, and A.C.T. score earners of 30 or above.

However this year the bustle of games and a half day of play will no longer take place.

Renaissance Executive Board members Taylor Barlow, Madelyn Deister, Adia Holtman, Grayson Lynch, and Kayla Shy and sponsors Kirsten Brauch and Terri Myers made the decision after reviewing feedback Renaissance sent out to faculty after last’s year event, April 29.

“Well, we were deciding not to do a Renaissance Carnival mainly because it takes a lot of instruction time away,” Deister said.“They are getting a little angry because it’s a big deal, and they already think with all the late starts that they are losing a lot of instruction time.”

While serving as an opportunity to unwind and celebrate the carnival’s timing wasn’t ideal.

“It’s not at a good time because it is too close to finals and AP exams,” Shy said. 2017 AP exams started less than a week later last year.

The spring timing of the Carnival conflicted with AP testing preparation since those exams started May 2.

The leadership team is working on what will replace the carnival.

“We haven’t decided specifically, but some of the things include giving items back to the students and giving more recognition,” Holtman said. “We want to give more material goods rather than how it’s been verbally in the past–more items like cups or t-shirts. These have  been done in the past so students can have tangible things as evidence of their work paying off.”

Treats such as ice cream may also play a role and will be awarded on days spread out through the school year.

While the cheers and laughter of the carnival filled Gym A and the Commons last year when rain pushed events in doors, the atrium where students received their certificates was quiet in comparison since their peers were elsewhere.

“A lot of kids reported that even though it was fun, there were other things they would rather do to be recognized, Ann Gilman, Renaissance sponsor, said. “It seems from staff and students that’s much more powerful to be recognized in front of their peers when people can actually pay attention.”

The leadership team looks to shift the focus squarely back onto the students who have worked so hard to accomplish so much.

“A big push is that we ensure that–let’s say a student is going to get a big award–rather than handing a student a piece of paper at a carnival where their is 10,000 things going on we want to make sure that there is a spotlight of recognition on a student in front of their peers, Gilman said. “Maybe that’s during class. Maybe that’s at lunch while there is everybody there or at a ceremony.”

Right now the leadership team continues to explore possibilities while remaining focused on their mission.

“If students always go unrecognized for their achievements then students feel like it doesn’t even matter that they are doing so well in school and they question why they should even try,” Shy said. “The focus of Renaissance is to make sure that when people receive recognition they feel they actually did something and it encourages them to do more.”

Shy and the Renaissance leadership team will continue to do more to helps others do the same.