North Summit wraps up centennial celebrations
Ryan Summerlin May 13, 2014
Fireworks lit up the night skies in Coalville on Friday to wrap up the North Summit School District’s centennial year. Students, their parents and community members cheered as the 100-year celebration came to a close.
The night began with an art show in the North Summit Middle School gymnasium. Paintings and drawings by high school and middle school students and art projects by elementary school students hung on the walls while Coalville residents walked around browsing before the presentation at the football field.
Included in the art were several tiles made by elementary school students for the two historic centennial murals placed on a wall in the elementary school. Summit County Artscape Chair Lola Beatlebrox said the project was a learning experience for the students who had to create a sort of "game plan" for the creation of their tiles.
"They had to really learn a new technique," Beatlebrox said. "For a school that is really craving art after doing a lot of homework on the three R’s (Roll Back, Review and Reaffirm) because of No Child Left Behind, slamming on that for years, to have a really fun art project like this was important."
The tiles depict traditional Native American symbols, and Beatlebrox said the children had a lot of fun creating them. Student reviews ranged from "Very, very, very, very, very, very fun" to "I loved doing this art, because I got out of regular class."
Around 8 p.m., spectators began to walk over to the football stadium down the street to make sure they got seats for the night’s main event. North Summit High School Principal Russ Hendry had only seen and heard a couple of things during practices, he said, but was assured that North Summit Brave Pride would be a big part of the show.
"You’re going to see how proud the members of this community are about being Braves and about living in North Summit," he said. "People work really hard for their kids to make sure they have a great experience."
A stage was set up in the middle of the football field with a backdrop painted to display Coalville’s famous ledges. Two painted totem poles sat on either side of the stage, and students were lined up in front, to the side and behind it.
The presentation started with North Summit High School student body president Ellora Wardrop singing the national anthem. The North Summit Drumline performed, and sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys chanted along to begin the celebration.
North Summit High School students Austin Simister and Kylee Jo Stokes sang "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" by David R. Naylor and began the story of North Summit and its students’ journeys by reflecting on their beginnings in the district. North Summit Elementary students then traveled to the ledges onstage, and the ledges, played by Superintendent Jerre Holmes and Helen Thiriot, advised them as they began their journey.
"A new horizon is in place, a new century for North Summit School District, and it will fall to you young children to learn, create and share with others," said Thiriot. "You must find your own voice, sing your own song and learn to carry on Brave traditions, for tomorrow does belong to you."
Elementary students ran onto the field dressed in purple or yellow hoodies and trailing colorful ribbon streamers to perform "Colors of the Wind" and "I Was Here" led by their teachers.
"You have entered a new season of growth and learning. You’ve expanded your horizons and learned well, so you must now look beyond," said Holmes to the middle school students who then approached the ledges. "Fine-tune your thoughts and your voice, find and celebrate your creative, tender hearts and then look to build unity among your fellow students and friends."
Fifth-grade students performed a traditional dance with rainsticks while sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade girls performed a spirit dance with brightly colored cloths, long ribbons strung around the totem poles and large, feathered dream catchers. The entire middle school then performed "Your Life is Now."
Finally, the high school students returned to the ledges to seek confirmation that their journey was fulfilled as promised while looking back at their 13 years in the North Summit School District.
"Many lessons have been learned as you follow the footsteps of the Braves," Holmes said. "Just as the people before you, you must understand that you will be forever known for the tracks you leave."
High school students performed "What We Stand For" while dancing in traditional Native American garb. Young men danced with fire-lit staves and young women shadow-danced behind illuminated white screens.
All students came together on the field to applause from the audience to perform "Carry On" by the band fun. and a district-wide rendition of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." As the performance came to a close, fireworks popped in the sky while the audience cheered.
Hendry felt it was a perfect way to wrap up the school district’s year of celebrations and move forward as their school year comes to an end on Friday, May 23.
"I think there has been a lot of school spirit and fun, and the kids have been excited about it all year," he said. "Now we’re going to go into the 101st year and keep going like we’re going."