Blue Ribbon Week included four days of fun activities for LMS students to show school spirit about their accomplishment. The week began with students dressing in red, white, and blue to signify the national scope of their award. Since it was also Tennessee Tuesday, they got to enjoy MoonPies as a special snack. The next day was Wacky Wednesday, which allowed students to balance all their hard work with a little silliness. Laughter rang out as students arrived wearing giant beads and mismatched or backwards clothing; Halloween costumes got another wear, socks were used as hair bows, and students enjoyed a celebratory cake after lunch to cap off the wacky day. Thursday gave students the chance to get cozy and relax for a schoolwide pajama day. The weather was rainy and grey, which was fitting for the comfy attire, and, as a special treat, students enjoyed breakfast for lunch!
Friday was the culmination of the week’s events, and students were surprised and delighted when they got to walk a “blue carpet” complete with velvet rope, balloons, yard signs, and fun music as they entered school that morning. Teachers, Principal Ruth White, and the LMS Lion mascot cheered each student by name as they walked up the front stairs, and when they arrived in their classrooms, each child received a special blue T-shirt with Lookout Mountain School’s name encircling the Great Seal of the United States. They wore these shirts later in the day for the Blue Ribbon Celebration, a schoolwide assembly in the LMS gymnasium with some very special guests.
The ceremony opened with the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 203 Color Guard presenting the American and State of Tennessee flags. Mrs. White welcomed everyone who had gathered, and LMS fifth graders Alex Faler and Emma Mixon led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lookout Mountain School Pledge. Mr. Randy Boyd, University of Tennessee System president, congratulated the students and faculty on their award. He jokingly asked for a show of hands by students who planned to attend the University of Tennessee for college, and he was met with quite a few takers! He said earnestly that if kids kept up the kind of hard work and dedication they had shown in receiving this award, that any number of schools would be proud to have them as students one day. Next, guests watched a lovely short video about LMS, in which Mrs. White led viewers around campus while speaking about her love of the school and her admiration of the students, faculty, parents, and community that make it such a special place.
Mr. Weston Wamp, Hamilton County mayor, spoke next, recognizing women as a driving force in the success of Lookout Mountain School and sharing a story from his own time in elementary school, which assured LMS students that they would always remember their school receiving this award. Dr. Justin Robertson, Hamilton County Schools superintendent, asked students to raise their hands if they were happy to come to school each day, and he was pleased to see all the students in the gym shoot their hands into the air. He encouraged them to keep that enthusiasm and drive, and he presented the Blue Ribbon plaque to Principal White. Final remarks to the guests were made by Mr. Walker Jones, mayor of Lookout Mountain, Tenn. He shared that even though he had graduated from LMS 50 years earlier, he could still close his eyes and know in a moment from the distinctive smell that he was in the LMS gym, and he told the students that they would carry that same sense memory with them along with all their fond memories of LMS, no matter how long they were away. Music teacher Katie Huffine led first grade students in singing “Keep On Keeping On,” as an encouragement to all attendees to continue striving for success, and Beth Wingfield photographed the students and guests to officially capture the day.
Lookout Mountain School students will indeed carry the memory of this day and the feeling of pride in their hard work for years to come. The fun they had in the week leading up to Friday’s ceremony and the encouragement from the many special speakers at the assembly will spur them to continue their dedication to high academic achievement throughout the course of their education. Congratulations on your excellent work, LMS Lions!
by Meredith Brown