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Cherry Blossoms and Cityscapes

Building a Metropolis from the Ground up for Tuscaora’s Homecoming.

“Everyone wants to go to Hollywood, so why not just bring it to school?” Joellyn Aheto, a representative of the sophomore class at Tuscarora High School, questions. While her inquiry makes it sound simple enough, bringing Hollywood’s star-studded casts and swirling red carpets to Tuscarora is not as easy as Aheto’s rhetorical question makes it seem. Even with a difficult task ahead of them, the classes of Tuscarora managed to bring their assigned cities to life so that the main hall could be adorned with city lights for the homecoming of 2023.

The theme, city lights, can be, and was, taken different ways by the classes of Tuscarora. The seniors and sophomores opted for physical cities, New York and Tokyo, respectively, while the sophomores and freshmen focused on more abstract ideas, such as Hollywood and the photogenic aspect of Las Vegas.

“We were just inspired by the diversity of New York City and how much light it has,” Daniel Todd, a senior, explains. While he hadn’t helped decorate the halls before, he volunteered this year and helped out with the Chinatown section of New York.

The junior class focused on Tokyo, working with cherry blossoms and cityscapes to offset their metropolitan theme. Sophomores put together Hollywood, using the popularity aspect of the famous neighborhood and film center to match with the theme of city lights. Last but not least, the freshmen made their set more interactive, creating a “photo booth” representing Las Vegas.

 While these decorations might seem to materialize overnight to some high school students, there’s no secret behind the prep. Students come together, bubbling with ideas and a willingness to bring them to life, in order to set up the proper homecoming theme for the school. Kate Anderson, a freshman who volunteered to help out with decorations, says that she thinks that the opportunity to participate in the prep is, “…super fun and a great opportunity for students to get to know each other more.”

Volunteering can involve many different things, from painting signs to building a torii gate. If you want to know your grade more and feel more of a part of the Tuscarora community, collaborating with others for the homecoming decorations on the select day is the way to go. Not only is it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity- as soon as you’re out of high school, you’ve missed your shot at participating with the unique individuals in your grade- but it’s also a good way to get hours for clubs. 

Other than being a great social opportunity, the hallway decorations are part of preparing for the bigger picture: homecoming. Jasmine Argueta, a junior who helped decorate says that homecoming to her is, “…getting together with friends and having fun throughout the week and at the dance especially.”

About homecoming, Aheto remarks, “People say that it’s a dance, getting asked out for dates. It is that, that is the fun of it, but it’s also… a bunch of groups coming to work together as one.” Part of the homecoming spirit is the different classes coming together to participate in hallway decorations among other things, and Aheto says, “I do love helping the community and it’s also just really fun.”

Speaking of helping the community, what else goes in to prep for homecoming? Decorations is one, for sure, but the school hypes up the students with spirit days as well. This year’s spirit week was won by sophomores, the most participated day being “rhyme without a reason” where friends could pick random things that rhymed and dress up as them. Other things that go into homecoming preparation are making a class banner, the pep rally, and Tuscarora’s fight song.

Last year, Aheto and the freshmen team took the win for best hallway decorations with their Alice in Wonderland set under the main theme of garden party. Their creative spark stayed with them and they took first place for hallway decorations this year as well. Can they keep the streak and stay strong with decorations next year? There’s another year between us and finding out, so for now let’s enjoy a night under the city lights.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Stine, Staff Writer
Hannah is a sophomore at Tuscarora HIgh School, and this is her first year on the newspaper team as a Staff Writer. She has played volleyball for NVVA since 5th grade. In her free time she's either reading, drawing, writing, or tackling an overload of homework.

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