Decking the halls
Students spread cheer at BOE building

COVINGTON - This year, Newton County students aren't only helping out with holiday decorations at home - they are helping out at school, too.

Aside from decorating their classrooms and hallways with holiday decorations throughout the month, some students from Ficquett Elementary School walked down Wednesday to the neighboring Newton County Board of Education building on Newton Drive to help decorate the Christmas tree in the lobby.

"We appreciate all of you," Newton County School System Superintendent Steven Whatley told the eight students from various grade levels. "Y'all have fun, have a great holiday and enjoy your time off."

For the third year, Ficquett Elementary students have helped decorate the tree, a tradition that Whatley started.

Even though the nearby school always helps hang some of the decorations, many students from throughout the school system help with the decorations.

"We get each elementary school to submit ornaments that are handmade by students for our tree," said Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for NCSS.

This year, the students hung a variety of colorful ornaments on the bottom and middle parts of the 12-foot-tall tree; other system employees will hang more ornaments the BOE receives on the top part of the tree that students couldn't reach.

Ornaments include clay ginger bread people from Fairview Elementary School, glass balls with painted snowmen from Middle Ridge Elementary, stars made out of Popsicle sticks from Palmer-Stone Elementary and stained-glass like figures painted on tin-foil wrapped plates from Livingston Elementary.

The tree is expected to remain in the lobby until Dec. 19, when the school system lets out for holiday break.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.