Winterfest a unique experience for Clayton Ridge students

High school students dressed up for a formal dinner, served by faculty the day before school lets out for winter break. (Press photo by Molly Moser)


By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge High School held their bi-annual Winterfest on Thursday, Dec. 19. The school gymnasium was transformed into an atmospheric dining room for the afternoon entertainment. Yards of white linen were draped from floor to ceiling, and snowflakes three-feet in diameter clung to the stage. 

Prior to the formal dinner, high school students watched an etiquette video made by TAG students. The video taught proper use of silverware, dinner table manners, and how to signal to wait staff when finished with a meal. Students also learned about appropriate dress and how to tie a tie. 

Faculty served dinner and dessert to the high school student body and special guests, including school board members and their spouses. Dinner began after a blessing sung by Steve Moser and recent Clayton Ridge graduates Jesse and Nicole Moser.

MCs for the event were instructors Adam Radcliffe and Rhea Cano. The pair read an adaptation of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas," in which “The students were nestled, all slouched in their seats.” The humorous poem made mention of school groups, timely topics, and each instructor; and elicited great amounts of laughter from the audience.

Musical entertainment included vocal solos and duets by faculty members Valeria White, Michelle Fassbinder, and Sharon Keehner. Students listened with interest, and waved the battery-operated candles from their tables in the spirit of a concert. Guest pianist Kristie Roeder joined Valeria White for duets on keys during dessert – choice of pumpkin or apple pie with a crumble top, baked by Dana Einck.

White and Keehner performed a particularly entertaining musical parody of "The 12 Days of Christmas," in which the singer and her true love had a disagreement the day after the holiday. “The four calling birds were a big mistake, their language was obscene. The five golden rings were completely fake, they turned my fingers green!” the duo sang. Draping a black feather boa across her shoulders, White joked, “Who says English teachers can’t be fun?”

“I think it gives students a chance to see another side of their teachers,” said board member Michael Finnegan. “They’re seeing something out of their teachers today that they haven’t seen before.” 

Faces lit by the candles they each held, the entire high school faculty joined in singing Silent Night. Following another rewritten version of a popular Christmas verse by Cano and Radcliffe, the student body raised their voices together for a sing-a-long. "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" rang throughout the room.

“It’s a lovely time of the year for a nice, formal gathering,” said Finnegan. “Everybody getting together, enjoying some fellowship at the Christmas season, gives students a different perspective of what Christmas means.”

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