December 15, 2011

Competition brightens up Irving doors

December 15, 2011 By Elizabeth Ridenour Phoenix City Editor

— Irving Elementary students prepared for Christmas by decorating their classroom doors, but they also learned a lot.

“I’m so excited because it’s the first time we did it,” Principal David Shouse said. “We’re going to build on it.”

The decorating was part of a contest for the classes. Each grade was separated into stage areas. As “judges” toured the various classes, they considered originality and involvement of the children.

Ramelle Roberts’ third-grade class included decorations that shared the story of Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

“This takes the cake,” Shouse said as he looked at the miniature luminaries on the door.

Thelma Lightle, a teacher who was a judge, said, “When I read it, I cry.”

In the second- and third-grade category, Brandy Hughay’s third-grade class won for most educational. After reading four different versions of the story about gingerbread men, students wrote stories about gingerbread men. They incorporated math and science into the project.

“They went all out,” Shouse said.

La Dawn Anderson’s class decorated their doors to look like a gingerbread house. Gumdrops surrounded the doors, which were covered with candy canes and gingerbread men. A decorated Christmas tree with a teddy bear underneath, lights, music and hand-decorated gingerbread men on plates completed the look.

Across the hall, Daniel Watson’s class had a “Charlie Brown Christmas” theme, complete with Jaqueline Velquez portraying Lucy giving psychiatric advice for a nickel.

Several classes followed the gingerbread theme.

“Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the gingerbread man,” said a sign on another door.

Children in Angela Johnson’s class traced their feet and hands on construction paper and cut them out to make reindeer and a wreath.

Picking the winners wasn’t easy.

“They all worked so hard,” said Kay Price, a school counselor.

The winning classroom for kindergarten and first-grade classes was Lisa Lamont’s kindergarten class. Students traced their hands onto green construction paper, cut it out and made a Christmas tree. The “lights” strung on the tree had students’ pictures on them.

Roberts’ third-grade class won for the second and third grades.

Anderson’s fifth-grade class won for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

The winning classes will get pizza parties.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@

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