Christmas Happenings


Leilani Lespiegle

Students attend the yearly Christmas Prom at Hillcrest Hall in Minersville. “I really enjoyed prom,” sophomore Grace Mongrain said. “I thought the music choices were very good and my overall experience was pretty awesome. I’m definitely excited for proms in the following years.”


Following all the chaos from Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, students had another event to look forward to…Christmas Prom! Pottsville Area holds a holiday prom for the juniors, seniors and student council every year to kick-off the festive season. Getting dressed, doing your hair and picking out the perfect pair of shoes may be a bit of a struggle, but it becomes worth it in the end.

Sophomore Zaidian Vanorden said, “I really liked prom. I thought it was really fun dancing with all my friends and singing along to all the songs they played.”

Having fun singing and dancing with friends at prom is something lots of students enjoy. The song choices were very good according to the people who attended.

“Prom is the one night where everyone gets together and is friends with each other. It is such a great experience and I’d do it all over again a million times,”  freshman Lauren Klinger said.

Students said that prom was one of the best nights of their lives and they are excited for future holiday proms.

Senior Noah George said, “Prom was fun because I had a good time dressing up nice and getting together dancing with all my friends. It wasn’t very hard to find a good tuxedo at all. I thought it was very sharp.”


AID hosted its annual Holiday Tea for faculty members on December 18. Members supplied the food and drinks which included a variety of cookies, cupcakes, fruit, candy, soda and water.

“We put together the Holiday Tea to show our appreciation for the teachers,” senior Emma Bertch, AID President, said. “They do so much for us, so this is just a little something to show them how much we appreciate them.”

Around 20 faculty members attended the Holiday Tea, which was held in the cafeteria after school. The girls had everything set up and ready for the teachers when they came down.

“I am always impressed each year with the variety of treats that the AID members provide. This year the s’more cupcakes and rice crispy trees were especially tasty,” Mrs. Leslie Herring, Publications advisor, said.


On December 17, the Pottsville Area High School library held its eighth annual faculty cookie exchange. A  group of teachers baked batches of cookies and displayed them on a table for other teachers to pick from. Each teacher got one of each kind from the others. The event also included other extras such as candy canes and 7–Up drinks with cranberry juice ice cubes.

Mr. Carmen DiCello, health teacher, said. “I pretty much enjoy all of the cookies, but I particularly like jelly, molasses, and anything with chocolate. I run and then I eat cookies.”

“I made cranberry coins. This is our eighth year doing the exchange. The punch is 7 Up and Cherry 7 Up, with cranberry juice ice cubes. We normally have a party with music, but this year is a little quiet for the exchange.” Miss Carolyn Wasilewski, math teacher said.


On Wednesday, December 19, Miss Caroyln Wasilewski’s classroom was full of female teachers, gathering after school for the Ladies’ Faculty Gift Exchange. A virtual yule log burned on the projector.  Michael Buble’s Christmas classics distantly played over conversation.

This was the third year of the exchange, co-hosted by Mrs. Lillian Hobbs and Miss Wasilewski. “It’s one of the highlights of the year,” Miss Wasilewski said.

Food and beverages were set up on a table in the back of the classroom. Miss Wasilewski and Mrs. Hobbs brought homemade punch and arranged a hot chocolate station with “naughty” and “nice” marshmallows. Miss. Wasilewski even made homemade candy canes.

Twenty-four teachers participated in the exchange, which is formatted similarly to a Secret Santa. For this year’s exchange, they decide to try something new: using a database to assign the participants their gift recipient.

“I love doing the exchange,” Mrs. Megan Menchefsky, science teacher, said. “It’s fun. It’s interesting to see what people select for people they don’t really know.”


On December 20, the last Thursday before Christmas break, the middle school and high school bands put on a concert with holiday themed music. The middle schoolers went on first, under the direction of Mrs. Katelynn Reichert. Afterward the high school band came on, under the direction of Mr. Craig Shoener. Members of the audience enjoyed hearing the piece “Patapan” played by both bands, as well as Alfred Reed’s “Russian Christmas,” which has become a Pottsville tradition.

Senior Grace Muench, principal saxophone player, said “I enjoyed playing the English horn/saxophone solo in Russian Christmas by Alfred Reed. Playing that solo means a lot because it is something that makes the piece very unique.”

Senior Cassie Ward said, “Grace Muench’s solo was the best thing I ever heard; honestly, it made me cry.”


On December 21, the last school day of 2018, many clubs put together and delivered Christmas baskets to less fortunate families in the school district. The baskets contained perishable and non perishable food items.

“It’s very important that students donate to food baskets, because if it wasn’t for us donating, some families wouldn’t have food for the holidays,” senior Jillian Pellish said. “Also, it makes you feel really good knowing you’re helping someone have a better holiday. Just seeing the look on their faces when they receive the basket is so heartwarming.”