‘Magician Mania’ includes news of $15k donation

Two seniors pose in the hallway during Magician Mania

News of a $15,000 donation to Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School capped off “Magician Mania,” a day-long event for Herkimer Jr./Sr. High Students aimed at bringing the school community closer together.  

Rather than following their normal class schedule, the entire junior-senior high spent the day in team-building exercises, “meet and greet” sessions with club and activity leaders, and “success story” panel discussions featuring Herkimer alumni.

“Magician Mania” was the brainchild of a group of seniors who recently attended a leadership program. According to art teacher Heather McCutcheon, who helped the students formulate their plans for the event, the impulse was entirely student-driven and was aimed at helping foster a positive outlook about the school community.

In the upstairs hallway of the school, choral students sang a cappella verses as art students sketched impromptu drawings. Around the corner, students crowded around the Outdoor Club table to look at pictures from the group’s activities. Each student carried a paper “passport,” with eight blank spaces. Representatives from each club or activity offered stamps to anyone who stopped by their table.

In the gymnasium and nearby hallways, students lined up in rows, stood in circles, walked blindfolded through obstacle courses and helped each other through a “spider web” crafted from green yarn.

In the auditorium, student leaders interviewed panels of alumni about their experiences since graduation, their reflections on life at Herkimer and their advice to current students.

“I feel like I’m watching ‘This Is Your Life,” Principal Mary Tomaso commented. “My former students are back, my current students are being leaders — it’s wonderful.”

The day’s events closed with all the students gathered in the auditorium once more, where a school-wide Kahoot poll took students’ opinions of the day’s events — and allowed them to weigh in on which teacher had the ugliest holiday sweater. (The winner: Mr. Meininger.)

Students and teachers were also awarded prizes based on their participation in the day’s events, including for teamwork and leadership.

Closing out the day was Mrs. Tomaso, who encouraged students to keep in mind all that the school, and the greater community, has to offer. Tomaso told her students that the school has received a donation of $15,000 from alumni Amanda Klink and Randy Fike.

Mrs. McCutcheon said she was proud of the students for the hard work and effort that went into planning Magician Mania.

“The seniors did so great,” McCutcheon said. “I can’t even tell you how much they stepped up. It’s been a very positive experience.”

See more from Magician Mania by searching for the hashtag #HerkMM2016, or visit our Magician Mania gallery on Facebook