Winterfest Festivities Capture the Spirit of NHS


Kara Cowell, Staff Reporter

Winterfest week festivities occurring Feb. 10-14 bring about new changes and fresh excitement within Neenah High School. 

February as a high schooler in Neenah, Wis. might not be the most exciting month of the year. Between the conclusion of some winter sports seasons, the changing of semesters, the inevitable sprinkling of snow days, and students yearning for the days of spring break to be closer than they really are, it can be hard to find things to stand out during this time. Fortunately, there is one thing that always seems to bring about excitement despite all of the chaos around it. That one thing is Winterfest.

In 2017 Sources of Strength, a new organization starting up within NHS took over coordination and planning of the Winterfest week as a whole. This change in planning caused a complete revamp of the activities which have surrounded the week. Where before there were few activities other than the big dance on Saturday, there is now an entire week of activities yearning to revive school spirit in a variety of ways.

This year Winterfest week falls on the week of Feb. 10-14. For more detailed information on the dress-up days and after school activities see here or watch the Winterfest video posted on Schoology. 

Similar to the changes made to Winterfest a few years ago, this year’s festivities come with some new and interesting twists. While dress-up days will stay more or less the same, and the dance will be as hyped up as ever; the assembly portion students are used to is completely different. Sources of Strength as a group were encouraged to find a better way to connect with students and promote their positive messages. Unfortunately for many, the news of the eliminated assembly was rather off-putting — simply due to the special and festive spirit having an assembly seems to add to a week. 

Interested in learning more about what urged this change — Principal Wunderlich was interviewed. Mr. Wunderich addressed that the thought of assemblies makes him nervous for safety and security reasons, especially with the changing climate of school safety around the country. With the changes to the NHS daily schedule this year it is harder than ever to make it fair for students to miss classes for a modified schedule when they only see their teachers every other day. This timing issue combined with Wunderlich’s growing safety concerns and hope for deeper engagement led him to urge traditional assembly planning to meld itself into the smaller classroom time with AACP. 

Wunderlich phrased this dilemma: “Every obstacle is also an opportunity.”  Sources of Strength has in response taken administration up on this opportunity and has been working hard to mold an exciting resume of assembly activities for the day Day 2’s Advisory and AACP Periods of the Winterfest week. All students will be participating in a tik tok contest, making cards for elementary school children, a crazy game of wild teacher trivia during their scheduled section alone; as well as have the opportunity to sign up for enrichment opportunities including a live game of Hungry-Hungry-Hippos with teachers and Valentine’s day episode of The Office. Students, teachers and staff alike are encouraged to embrace these activities as if they were a part of an assembly, in hope that they will still bring as much excitement, positivity and camaraderie, that an assembly might have also channeled. Sources of Strength’s mission is to spread hope, help and positivity throughout the entire culture of NHS, and the variety of activities will hopefully succeed in fulfilling their mission.