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South Hills

Fall carnival aims to foster Thomas Jefferson school spirit, showcase clubs

| Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, 12:21 p.m.

Tents will line the back parking lot at Thomas Jefferson High School on Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m., as students from nearly every school club come together to showcase their Jaguar pride.

The TJ Student Council is introducing a fall carnival during homecoming week this year, to bring together the community and boost morale and school spirit.

“You’re only in high school once, and you should get the full experience while you’re here,” said senior Tori Weisbrod, 17. “There are so many opportunities for all of us to get involved and be a part of something, and I think it’s a good learning experience for now and for life.”

The fall carnival will showcase nearly every school club and allow each to fundraise, all at the same time.

For younger kids in the community, it will be a time to come meet their older peers, play games, eat food and see what’s in store for them when they get to high school.

For high school students, it gives them a chance to see what other clubs are active at their school.

“We never really had an event that brought the clubs together,” said senior Remy Zandier, 17. “With each club having its own booth… you can see who is involved in what and what they came up with.”

Student council initially had planned to host a mini s’mores and hot dog festival this year during homecoming week, advisor Heidi Karcher said.

Yet, when she met new school Principal Pete Murphy, he suggested they try a carnival to bring together all the clubs.

Almost everyone wanted to be a part of it, she said.

“Now I feel like I’m hosting Cedar Point here in the next few weeks,” Karcher said with a laugh.

The carnival will feature food, games and face painting. There will be pony rides, sponsored by the Campano Family; inflatables, donated for the evening by The Jumpy Co.; and snow cones sponsored by Little Kahuna.

Many of the clubs are doing something that relates to their mission.

The French Club will sell crepes and French pastries. The Outdoors club will host a corn hole tournament, and the Interact Club is hosting a DJ.

“It’s going to look almost like Spring-A-Rama, but minus the big Ferris wheel,” said senior Haleigh Karcher, 17.

For the community, it will show what high school students are doing with their time, Heidi Karcher said.

High school freshman, especially, might get ideas of clubs they can join.

“It shows what’s out there,” said senior Maura Gdovic, 17.

Little kids across the community already are talking about getting to come to the high school for the big carnival, said Remy, who coaches youth cheerleading.

Organizers said the TJ drumline performing likely will be a big hit of the night. And rain won’t stop the fun — everything will move inside to the gym and cafeteria.

“I’m just excited to see everyone come together,” said senior Angelina Gambino, 17.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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