By Jonathan E. Coleman
While many Hickory Ridge High School students and teachers have spent the first few weeks of school learning their way around the building and finding their respective classrooms, an upcoming event will give them a chance to explore the facility’s exterior.
The year has been marked by a number of firsts, from the first day of school to the first sporting events. This weekend marks another first, the school’s first fundraising walk-a-thon.
The Steppin’ in the Right Direction Walk-A-Thon, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, will include a three-mile walk around the school and track. Participants are being asked to collect money that can be allocated to various departments at the school.
“The money is going back to the classrooms and other areas at the school,” said Jamie Dyer, a teacher at the school and co-advisor overseeing the event. “This is really our kickoff to a good school year.”
Participants can earmark donations to be contributed to the school’s student council, which plans homecoming, tailgates and other school events or for the school’s general fund. Additionally, money can to contributed to a specific academic department at the school. Individual departments will then determine how the money is spent, Dyer said.
“They definitely take care of us here,” she said. “But there’s always things you wish for. Hopefully, through this, we’ll be able to get some of that.”
The walk-a-thon is also an opportunity for the community to show support for the new school and a chance build school spirit in students and staff.
“It’s a really big deal getting our students to have school spirit,” said Ariel McKinley, a junior at the school and one of the event’s student organizers. “For this being our first year, I think we’re doing pretty good with pep rallies and tailgates. We’re setting the bar for next year.”
As the walk-a-thon nears, students planning the event are dealing with logistics and the anticipation of the school’s upcoming fundraiser.
“Before, we were working on registration forms and paperwork,” said sophomore Jesseeca Nguyen. “Now, we’re planning routes, making signs and figuring out how things are going to be organized on that day.”
They are also conjuring up ideas for how to spend the money.
Nguyen has big ideas for the school’s inaugural homecoming celebration.
“Homecoming has to be big for us because all of us coming from different schools, we’re going to be compared to others,” she said. “We want ours to be like no other — the best. We want people to love Hickory Ridge and not have those Robinson and Central lines.”
Nguyen, who said she’s enjoyed the experience of planning the walk-a-thon, said she’s not really sure what to expect on the day of the event.
“It will be a relief — if it’s a success — that we got the job done, but I’ll still be nervous about how much money we raised and that the funds will be a success.”
• Contact Jonathan E. Coleman at [email protected] or 704-789-9105.