WHS hosts first Fall Fest
Journal Register News Service
For the last two years, members of the Wissahickon High School television production club, WTV, entertained local youngsters by converting their studio and two classrooms into a ghoulish delight — WKH HDunWHG HDOOV. TKLV fiHnGLVK EuW NLGfriendly fun was the brainchild of Andrew Herbert, a current high school senior and WTV co-president, whose late October birthday makes him a Halloween enthusiast.
While Principal Lyn Fields supported the Haunted Halls, she envisioned something bigger, something much bigger — a fall event that involved the entire high school. This vision was realized Saturday, Oct. 20, WKrRuJK :LVVDKLFNRn HLJK 6FKRRO’V firVW Fall Fest.
Fall Fest transformed the football stadium into a community fair, with student musicians entertaining throughout the day and more than 40 student organizations offering different kid-friendly activities.
In addition to decorating pumpkins and caramel coating apples, festivalgoers FRuOG SODnW flRwHrV wLWK WKH HRrWLFuOWurH Club, make friendship bracelets with Amnesty International, perform stunts with the cheerleaders, tie-dye T-shirts with the Ambassadors Club, make trick-or-treat bags with the Future Teachers of America DnG DnDOyzH WKHLr Rwn finJHrSrLnWV DW WKH forensics table. Adults could also browse the vendor tables while their children enMRyHG D YLVLW IrRP WKH firHfiJKWHrV DnG WKH K-9 unit.
Four-year-old Ryan Houghton — with a Halloween bat painted on his cheek and Captain America tattooed on his hand — rHSHDWHGOy wKDFNHG EDOOV LnWR WKH fiHOG KRFNHy nHWV VHW uS Rn WKH IRRWEDOO fiHOG for budding athletes.
“The weather was awesome,” Ryan’s father, John Houghton, a teacher at Wissahickon Middle School, said. “It was an enjoyable day for everyone — kids and DGuOWV. ,W’V WKH firVW WLPH WKHy GLG LW, DnG I’m looking forward to coming again next year. It’s been a great day.”
Particularly thankful for the delightful weather was Associate Principal Tom Andrzejewski, who was repeatedly drenched in the Fall Fest dunk tank.
In addition to the events in the stadium, there was a rock-climbing wall, karaoke and other activities — including the Haunted Halls — in the high school itself. Visitors to the Haunted Halls received a guided tour of Count Dracula’s mansion, courtesy of the WTV Club, with the fright level moderated to the age of the guests.
Although Fall Fest was conceived of as an event for children, Saturday’s festival was actually well populated with high school students.
“There are more high schoolers than I expected, but that’s good because it involved the whole school,” Matt Wecht, WTV treasurer, said.
While Fall Fest was a schoolwide effort, WTV assumed the primary leadership role, especially club Co-Presidents Liz Morris and Herbert and club Vice President Adam Jarvis.
After having stayed late every day and having skipped lunch and study halls for a month, Morris said, “[Organizing Fall )HVW] wDV GHfinLWHOy H[FLWLnJ. 0y PRP is a project engineer for Boeing, and she organizes meetings and projects all the time. I really appreciate what she does now. Mrs. Brasch is always organizing things too; she’s incredible.”
A teacher in the high school’s technology education department, Jessica Brasch is the WTV faculty adviser. With a witch’s hat perched on her head and a persistent cackle, Brasch jetted around Fall Fest as if she were actually propelled Ey D flyLnJ ErRRPVWLFN.
Despite Brasch’s support, Fall Fest was a student-driven event. Students organized and staffed the activities. They secured the vendors and event sponsors, which included Chyten Educational Services, Edible Arrangements, The Metropolitan American Diner & Bar, Sesame/ Rockwood Camps, Marks Jewelers and The Little Gym. And they acquired the GRnDWLRnV WKDW fiOOHG WKH FRnFHVVLRn VWDnG DnG rDIflH WDEOH.
“TKH KRurV GHfinLWHOy SDLG RII. ,W wDV well worth it,” Jarvis said.
Burunda Prince-Jones, a high school parent and Wissahickon School District Board member, spent the day at Fall Fest enjoying the activities and admiring the student effort.
“It’s fantastic,” she said. “A great day with lots of school spirit and participation. People who say that kids are into bad things need to come to events like this, where kids are into great things. I hope more people will participate next year because it showcases our school and our community.”
The proceeds from Fall Fest will benefiW WKH :LVVDKLFNRn HLJK 6FKRRO 6FKRODrship Foundation, the alumni association and participating clubs.
Students Louisa Mulbah, of Ambler, left, Grace Palmer, of Fort Washington, and Sarah Klitsch, of Ambler, make balloon animals.