Gingerbread house contest sweet, but fierce

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By Chris McGinn

INDIAN LAND – Indian Land Middle School hosted a fierce competition Dec. 18. It wasn’t academic or athletic; it was gingerbread.

Teams of teachers from throughout the school participated in a gingerbread house design competition, with students determining the winner.

Principal David McDonald said the activity was a team-building exercise that was also a nice way to energize the staff in the closing weeks of the term.

The competition began the week after Thanksgiving when the teams were assigned and each was given a board and a gingerbread house kit.

They could add whatever they wanted to the house, but they had to work together.

Teams were composed of teachers who taught the same students or those with similar jobs, such as administrators.

McDonald said the teams had to answer a list of questions while they worked to get to know one another better. The questions included why they got into teaching, their favorite memory of teaching, and where they see themselves in five years.

The students voted using a scoring rubric that included qualities such as creativity, difficulty and overall expression.  The winning team got lunch from 131 Main on the last Friday before the holiday.

The winning house was constructed by the seventh-grade team of Shannon Walton, Kay Sehorn, Bill Bruno and Chris Shade. It was the largest house, with additions of Frosted Mini-Wheat roofs and a pretzel fence, as well as several additional smaller buildings.

Runners-up were Sherri Alston, Janet Day, Cheryl Lino, Phedrian Lester and Cindy Cunningham for a house designed after the popular novel “Twilight.”

Third place went to David McDonald, Cindy Bush and Tammy Durham, for their two-story confection.

Other houses included one with a “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theme and one with a glowing fireplace and Sistine Chapel-inspired roof painting by the school’s art teacher, Teresa Petty.

McDonald said this was the first time the teachers have done this activity, but they have had other team-building projects, such as a scavenger hunt. He said it helps them work better as a team and that they take that energy back into the classroom with the students.

“Our staff is fiercely competitive with one another,” McDonald said, noting that bragging rights were expected for the winner.