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'Tis the Season for Ugly Sweaters and Much More

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5a47e1db4d46bLaura Hensley dressed like a Who from Whoville for Christmas Character DayMelinda Bak
Conner Koopmans shows off his ugly sweater.Melinda Bak
Duane Sperle got in on the fun with his ugly sweaterMelinda Bak
Tara Sheridan dressed up almost every single day.Melinda Bak
Left to right: Danna Schipper, Vannesa Bueso, Madison Aldrich, Kailey Bak, Jadilyn Vargas, and Rylee Bakker. These girls celebrated the coming of Christmas by wearing their festive sweaters.Melinda Bak

Melinda Bak

Laura Hensley dressed like a Who from Whoville for Christmas Character Day

West Sioux staff members celebrated their own Twelve Days of Christmas leading up to break from December 7th to the 22nd. “Instead of giving gifts, we are just celebrating with fun outfits.  So each day there’s something different just to have fun with the staff members, and they can have a good time,” said Mrs. Heidi Vasquez. Vasquez got this idea from Mrs. Carrie Thonstad, who planned to do this with her staff at the elementary schools.  They discussed the idea just a few days before December 7th, and they had to make the decision quickly to start in time to do it before Christmas break. “This idea came about from the Elementary Leadership Team discussing ways to increase staff participation in social activities.  Mrs. Jackie McManaman shared a site she had found where the school celebrated the last 12 days of school by dressing up to have fun,” said Thonstad. Vasquez said, “Sometimes before Christmas break you can get stressed. People are planning lots of different things.  Teachers are trying to get kids caught up and get certain things done before break.  When we come back, we have to study for finals.  So, the elementary principal and I thought it would be fun to do something like the Twelve Days of Christmas while we are still working hard.” Thonstad expressed how great the dress up days went in the elementary buildings.  She said, “I would have to say the Twelve Days of Christmas is a hit at the elementary buildings.  The majority of staff are participating and everyone is enjoying the fun.  Even Mr. Francisco Garcia and Mr. Jesse Strong are dressing up!  You should have seen their faux fur vests on the second day!” Some of the staff members worked hard to prepare for ugly sweater day by cutting and modifying their sweaters to make them ugly. Thonstad believes, during this stressful time of year, the Twelve Days of Christmas will help everybody relax.  She said, “They’ll smile a little more, laugh a bit, and enjoy each other.  We hope to lighten the load a little.  West Sioux has an incredibly committed group of educators and staff.  It’s a joy to see them smiling this season!” Mr. John Mosby liked his Doctor Who hat the most and Mr. Sperle liked the ugly sweaters the most.  Mr. Ruppelt wore his wife’s scarf and sweater vest. Additionally, a lot of teachers think this does help them relax.  Mr. Josh Martinsen said, “I think it helps to make school less stressful.  It is something to look forward to.” Miss Megan Burmakow said, “It’s so fun to see the teachers participate and see the creativity.  It definitely lightens the mood during the last couple of weeks before break.” Teachers think they should have this again next year.  Mrs. Mary Vander Laan said, “I hope we do participate in something fun like this next year because sometimes you have to enjoy your day to make sure that students enjoy your class.” Mr. Kramer also sent gratitude to the sponsors of this program.  He said, “I thought the idea to do this was pretty cool.  Both elementary buildings and the MS/HS buildings are participating thanks to both Mrs. Thonstad and Mrs. Vasquez.” Students got in on the fun the last two days of school before break.  They had Christmas Character day and Ugly Sweater Day.