By Meg Dickens
Schools and school officials around the district went all out for Christmas this year. COVID-19 safety protocols can make celebrations difficult, but locals found a way. As 2020 comes to a close, students, faculty, and staff celebrate the end of a semester and hope for a good new year.
“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the commitment and continuous work of our teachers, school support staff, school administrators, school nurses, school nutrition team, custodial staff, transportation department, maintenance crew, district office team, and our school board members,” Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox said. “We have managed to complete a semester without having to close schools for an extended period of time and teach our students in-person and virtually. Great job. My wish is that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year with their families.”
Celebrations started with a holiday staple, Santa. Per COVID-19 safety protocols, he greeted students from a sizeable distance. At Doe Elementary, Santa and the Elf on a Shelf said hello from the school rooftop. Santa’s green doppelganger, the Grinch, showed up at Laurel Elementary to hitch a ride on his sleigh filled with goodie bags.
Local schools treated Christmas like homecoming spirit week this year. Each day, students dressed for a particular theme. Some categories included ugly Christmas sweaters, red and green day, and Christmas hair. Schools had special days exclusive to their students. For example, Roan Creek Elementary scheduled a pajama day, while Mountain City Elementary chose a flannel day. Several days were disturbed thanks to weather-induced school cancelations.
Like most schools, Johnson County High School asked students to wear ugly sweaters. Unlike the others, faculty and students planned to dress up to compete for the most impressively bad sweater with prizes on the line. Inclement weather interfered with this contest, but officials say they may reschedule when school goes back into session. Other schools mentioned voting for favorite faculty sweaters but did not mention any prizes.
Members from the Student Council joined forces to participate in the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Deck the Poles lampost decorating event. Their pole features a cheerful snowman showing support for both the school and the organization. School officials at Central Office followed suit with their annual door decorating contest.
Spirits are high as school staff, faculty, and students take time for a well-deserved holiday break. For more information on Johnson County Schools, visit jocoed.net. Keep up with school cancelations, COVID-19 statistics, and even lunch menus on the Johnson County Schools TN app available on both Apple and Android devices.