Adair County High School has the honor of creating specialty ornaments for the 2019 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C.
The ornaments made by Adair County students will reflect what makes the state of Kentucky special on one of 56 small trees that represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia.
These trees that the ornaments will go on are part of the America Celebrates display surrounding the National Christmas Tree.
“We were asked to keep images Kentucky-related with a few provisions and traditional Christmas colors welcomed. Among images we chose were Derby, horses, Mammoth Cave National Park, Daniel Boone National Forest, cardinals, goldenrod, state seal, and Bluegrass music,” said ACHS Art teacher Cayce Davenport, who led the project with students.
Davenport used the ornaments as an assignment for two advanced classes she teaches.
“The students have been incredibly picky about the quality and craftsmanship,” said Davenport. “So much so that it’s been difficult to get them back at times, which actually makes my art teacher heart smile.”
Last year the Kentucky School for the Deaf and Kentucky School for the Blind represented Kentucky in the display.
The National Park Foundation states that they have funded the project and through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display.
“I scanned through the list of chosen schools to see a number of private schools, charter schools, or magnet programs,” said Davenport. “It’s a huge honor for our ACHS students to be selected, and validates the strong talent we have among our students. I’m super proud of my students anyway and already know how awesome they are, so to have their talents shine on a national platform is elating.”
Over 1,500 students will participate in this year’s project and the America Celebrates display will begin on Thursday, Dec. 5 with the 97th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The America Celebrates display is free and open to visitors throughout the month.
Although ACHS students and staff can’t make it to D.C. to see it themselves, they will be able to view their ornaments through the National Christmas Tree website when posted.
A group of students who decorated an ornament. Back row left to right: Samantha Henson, Latashia Burton, Hailey Turner, Jocelyn Turner, Bryson Helm and Darrion Slade. Middle: Kiara Collins, Halle Burton, Cayliegh Woodin, Katelyn Cox, Emily Kirksey, Maddie Harmon and Victoria Harp. Front: Derek Burris, Brandi Grider and Briana Taylor.
Victoria Harp writes about Kentuckian pioneer Daniel Boone on her ornament.
Brandi Grider paints a horseshoe to represent the horse culture in Kentucky.