Opinion

Activities, clubs and events engage students | GUEST OPINION

Arlington High School is an ever-bustling hub of activity during the school day that rarely slows before the first bell at 7:55 a.m. and after the final bell at 2:30 p.m. Throughout the halls and classroom, extra-curricular and cross-curricular activities are abundant.

Activities and clubs provide engaging opportunities for students to expand their expertise in various areas whether they are academic or extra-curricular — it is a chance for students to increase their interests, show off their talents, and sometimes find that niche that they never knew existed. Students engage in meeting and policy procedures; learn career-related skills; meet new groups of peers throughout the school; and are provided opportunities for enrichment outside the walls of AHS.

Club offerings at AHS offer a diverse range of interest. For future thespians, the Drama Club offers students a chance to strut their stuff on stage, where Knowledge Bowl allows students to show off their academic prowess. DECA and FBLA allow students to display their business sense; Flight Choir and Band prepare future crooners and musicians; AFJORTC teaches students discipline and creates solid work ethic and community commitment; and the culinary SkillsUSA club prepares our future chefs and restaurant moguls. FFA gives students a chance to show off their agricultural abilities and the Eagle newspaper’s investigating reporting is hard-hitting and informative. Other clubs are helpful in making students feel more accustomed to high school life, such as the “Link Crew,” a student organization that helps incoming freshmen transition from middle school to high school. The newly formed Recycling Club has put forth extensive student initiated efforts to help make Arlington High School more environmentally conscious. This only scratches the surface of AHS’s club offerings and student opportunities (for a complete list, check out the Arlington High School website under the “Students” tab).

Each of these clubs allows students to show off a unique set of skills and puts them on display for their peers, their community, their state, and sometimes showcases student talents on a national or international level. For example, last year AHS students Allison Langley, Kaylee Aune and Carley Petersen finished in first place for their Chapter Awards Project at the International Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City; skills they acquired from DECA. Hannah Powers placed at the National Leadership and Skills Competition for preschool teaching; a feat that landed her a position as a SkillsUSA state officer in Washington. And finally, last year the Video Production Club, Leadership class, and ASB earned acclaim for pulling off the first ever “Lip-Dub” at Arlington High School; a production that earned attention from a Japan-based TV show and over 77,000 views on YouTube in the last six months. It is one of these last organizations that encompass student activities as a whole, the Arlington High School Associated Student Body.

Led by advisor Ben Ballew, ASB creates the student culture necessary while helping to provide and track the funding needed to be able to provide such great opportunities for our students. ASB is a student organization created for and run by students. Through student council opportunities, AHS students are able to provide feedback towards how ASB funds are allocated and what the student culture at AHS should look like. Our officers do a great job of providing spirited opportunities for student participation, creating an environment of belonging and togetherness. Their 2012-13 theme of “family” encapsulates this very culture and can be seen on display at games, plays, assemblies, or even in our own lunchroom.

Activities and clubs are great way for students to get involved, strut their stuff, and be a part of something at Arlington High School outside of their everyday classroom experience. And it’s not just students who can experience this — clubs and activities are constantly on display to the community. Some upcoming events include:

Nov. 16 and 17 — Arsenic and Old Lace (an Arlington High School student play) in the Linda Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. (organized by the AHS drama club)

Saturday, Dec. 1 — Strutz Benefit Concert in the Linda Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. (organized by the AHS student bands and Flight choir)

Wednesday, Dec. 5 — Senior Citizens’ Dance in the AHS Commons at 5 - 6:30 p.m. (organized by the AHS ASB and Leadership class)

Saturday, Dec. 15 — JROTC Competition throughout Arlington High School at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (organized by the AHS AFJROTC)

Thursday, Dec. 13 — AHS Winter Band Concert in the Linda Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. (organized by the AHS student bands)

Tuesday, Dec. 18 — AHS Winter Choir Performance at 7 p.m.  (organized by the AHS student choirs and Flight choir)

We always appreciate the strong community support that is provided at these events for our students. We truly have a talented group of kids here at AHS.

Brian Beckley is the principal of Arlington High School and can be contacted at 360-618-6319 or by email at bbeckley@asd.wednet.edu.

 

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