Westmont High School students dressed to impress at the annual feast and they buzzed with excitement and energy as they entered the commons on December 7th. This tradition was started in 1995 and allows students to dress up and enjoy a special meal together as a school community. Teachers and administrators- including School Board Superintendent Kevin Carey serve them and students know this is a special day that is unique to WHS. During the lunch hours the students get to feast on turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, mac-n-cheese, rolls and more. This year was catered from Uncle Bub’s while past years involved volunteers and food service cooking in house.
Cashman Stahler Group graciously donates the funds for the feast and Mr. Steve Cashman was in attendance and shared that his firm got involved back in 2007/8 when budget restrictions were forcing the school district to think about cutting the feast day, “When we heard that we stepped in and said whatever you need to make this happen we will do it.” Principal Mr. Balerdman acknowledged their generous donation and the students applauded and thanked him as some loaded their plates with seconds.
One of the Food Service Workers Slyvia Austin started working at WHS in 1995 and remembers the first feast, “it was started by the then Food Service Director Mrs. Coletta Hines- Newl and we wanted to do a nice meal for the students but we cooked everything ourselves and used every dish in the kitchen. We were exhausted. It was a mess then but we have greatly improved since then.” As she shares with laughter and a big smile- even detectable behind her mask- you know she is proud to be a part of this tradition now going on 26 years. Mrs. Austin herself has been a Westmont resident for over 35 years and seen her children go through Westmont High School as well, “this is my community too.” After working hard through the lunch periods Administrator Ms. Megan VerVynck insisted Mrs. Austin and the other Food Service Workers be served by the teachers and Administrators and they filled their plates as well. Mr. Balderman walked around high fiving, asking students questions about their lives, and taking selfies as requested by students. Seniors gathered for group photos and many students were also helping to clean between lunch periods.
The feast at WHS is just one of many things that define Westmont as a small family community.
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