Desh the Halls!: Dragons put a bow on another December to remember

Desh the Halls!: Dragons put a bow on another December to remember

By Tyler Dahlgren

There’s so many directions we could have gone with the headline.

“Deshing Through the Snow….”

“You know Deshler and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen….”

“Desh the Halls….”

The latter, albeit predictable, was the least of a stretch, not to mention incredibly accurate.

Throughout the month of December, Deshler’s Dragon lair is overflowing with seasonal flavor. And that’s to be taken just as much literally as it is figuratively. Across the building, students build gingerbread houses and decorate sugar cookies. There’s bingo and cornhole, pinball and dodgeball, and a ramen noodle cook off between the senior class.

They call it “Dragon December”, a month-long celebration culminating in the annual “Fun Day”, hosted by the Student Council. NPSA was lucky enough to attend this year’s event, and it was just as wholesome and heartwarming as you’d imagine.

“Today is our favorite day of the school year!” a group of first-graders unanimously agreed.

“Today is relaxing, especially after finishing finals yesterday,” said senior Trinity Robinson.

The big kids weren’t the only ones kicking their feet up after a tough week of test-taking, as the elementary held its MAP testing throughout the week. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief Friday, though the giggles and Christmas tunes were doing their best to drown out anything unrelated to fun.

“They’ve worked hard,” said fifth-grade teacher Michelle Dubbert. “We had MAP testing this week, and my kids rocked it. It’s just a fun way to celebrate and send them off to break in high spirits.”

There was a new twist on “Fun Day” this year, as students K-12 were placed into groups of 12 before rotating through the five different stations throughout the building. For the first time, upperclassmen had the chance to share their gingerbread house expertise with kindergarteners, and the results were as touching as you could imagine.

“It’s absolutely amazing to see the kids come together, work together and have fun together,” said high school math teacher Colleen Hansen. “It’s so cool to see how they interact together and support and encourage each other.”

There’s very few times throughout a school year where elementary and secondary students get to bond like this, said secondary principal Dana Epley.

“It’s just a really cool opportunity for our older kids to be role models.”

The older kids, many donning classic Christmas sweaters and cheery smiles, embraced that role Friday.

“That’s the highlight of the entire month, being with the younger kids,” said senior McKylie Smith.

“It’s so fun,” agreed senior Taylor Sieber. “They are very energetic. They’re always laughing and giggling and making things more fun.”

From an observer’s standpoint, it was hard deciphering who was having a better time between the staff, the “big kids” or the elementary students. Sticking with the spirit of the season theme, we’ll call it a tie.

“It’s our last day and we get to have a Christmas party and there’s bingo and gingerbread houses and a bunch of fun stations,” said first-grade student Bella Jacobi.

“We get cookies, that’s the best part!” said fourth-grader Trip Schleif.

When you’re around the same people day-in and day-out, going through the same routines, things can get a little stale, said superintendent Damon McDonald, who said the older kids benefit just as much from the experience as the younger ones. 

Friday was a chance to mix things up, and nobody could stop smiling.

“It’s been fun to see,” said McDonald. “Hopefully it gives them something that carries over to the Christmas season with their families as well.”