Tuesday was far from a typical school day for students at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School. Homecoming preparations are in full swing, and the four classes met in various locations throughout Hays to create their parade floats for an annual competition.
This year’s homecoming parade theme is “Pass It On.” As the freshman class worked feverishly on their yearbook-themed float inside a garage at Auto World in Hays, students were covered in streaks of navy blue and white paint, and several also had glitter in their hair.
“Freshmen are such good workers,” said class sponsor Kathy Amrein. “It’s new to them.”
Across the street from the garage, groups of students gathered in an empty yard to paint large pieces of plywood in the school colors of navy blue and white. The boards then were mounted to the large trailer to form the pages of the yearbook, and work continued to add a replica of the school building.
Several other students were meticulously covering small strips of felt with thick, silver glitter for the freshman class banner. The school also hosts a banner and chant contest during Thursday night’s bonfire.
Glitter covered the banner — and the girls working to create it. Makinsey Schlautman, Emma Schmidt and Hannah Flynn laughed as they playfully threw some of the extra glitter at each other.
“By far,” Schmidt said when asked if she preferred the day’s activities to a normal school day. “And we only had to come at 9 o’clock, so it was an hour later.”
But the day’s work also offers a few good lessons — the students practice teamwork, and are tasked with project planning and purchasing materials on a budget.
Another group of students was busy late Tuesday morning delivering large amounts of pizza to all four grade levels.
“We get to scope out the competition,” senior Halle Lang said jokingly, as she helped deliver pizza to the junior class.
The senior class float will be in the theme of a telephone, to “pass on” the message, Lang said.
At Heartland Building Center’s Truss Plant, the junior class was working to create their race car float for Friday evening’s parade.
“That’s hilarious,” Lang told a group of juniors who were working intently on their class poster, which takes a playful jab at junior class teachers.
The banner features four teachers’ faces with elf and Santa Claus costumes and stacks of presents on both sides. The sign reads, “You get a present! You get a present! … Here’s your test!”
“In the past years, we’ve put in so much effort into it. And this year we’re just trying to throw something together,” said Alexandra Herrman, a junior. “And it’s probably turned out better than in the last two years.”
The homecoming parade will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday on Main Street in Hays, followed by the football game at 7 p.m. and a school dance Saturday.