By Debbie Adams
William Byrd Middle School honored two traditions on one afternoon on Dec. 16 combining the annual faculty/student basketball game and the grand finale of the 2022 food drive.
According to guidance counselor Lubeth Jones, over a three-week period in November, the middle school students and staff contributed 1,200 items for families in need this holiday season. The donations are going to the Community Christmas Store once again.
The Community Christmas Store (CCS) of the Roanoke Valley has been providing for families in need since 1993. In 2021, CCS served 728 people from 308 families, including 389 children. In 2022, their goal is to serve 600 families.
Teams of WBMS students helped with counting, labeling, sorting, packing, and record-keeping of the donated items. Student leaders were eighth graders Emily Clinebell and Isabella Worley. Sixth grade students also on the volunteer team included Lacey Russell, Mahkenna Ramsey, Ella McReynolds, Emma Boyd, Payten Childress, and Ace Adkins.
Organizers came up with a special enticement to encourage students to participate more fully in the food drive: several students would earn the privilege of “pie-ing” five staff members who topped the list for donations– Assistant Principal John Eggleston, along with teachers Matt Bartley, Bill Pratt, Denise Aspell, and Stephanie Hiemstra.
Students armed with pies included: Emily Clinebell, Isabella Worley, Jonah Wilkerson, Nate Roberts, Nate Doan, Lilly Duffy, Ben Gardner, and Carlee Zimmerman.
Eggleston has been a frequent pie-in-the-face target for charity events in his years in education, but he said that five pies in one day was a record for him.
Eggleston and WBMS Principal Dana Stevens served as officials during the faculty/student basketball game.
Faculty members on the men’s team included Choir Director Matt Bartley, P.E. teacher Jeremy Baldwin, teacher and WBMS Boys Head Basketball Coach Jaylen Clark, science teacher Andrew Close, math teacher Brad Collins, IT and Golf Coach Tyler Goodman, Tech Ed. and Middle School Head Football Coach Ryan Hutchison, English teacher and Assistant Varsity football Coach Andrew Mitchell, P.E. teacher Ben Munsey, and P.E. teacher Bill Pratt.
Female faculty members playing in the game included math teacher and tennis coach Kayla Mitchell, IA and Assistant WBMS girls basketball Coach Morgan Booth, Central Office biology teacher and Head WBMS Girls Lacrosse Coach Kelsey Harris, Administrative Assistant and Assistant Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Brandy Helton, WBMS Girls Basketball Head Coach Missy Hershel, history teacher Bonnie Reedy, English teacher Erica Rosser, school psychologist Ki’Ari Stanley, teacher and Assistant Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Samantha Webster, and testing coordinator Michelle Yamantani.
Math teacher and Tennis Coach Ashley Stultz served as coach for the student team.
Faculty cheerleaders who cheered alongside the WBMS cheerleaders were science teacher Erin O’Donnell, band director Denise Aspell, science teacher Jessica Kingery, English teacher Tracy Addison, and Middle School Head Cheer Coach Shannon McCullough.
In addition to cheering on the sidelines, the WBMS cheerleaders put on quite a performance at half time, with elaborate choreography performed to traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas songs.
Announcer (and math teacher) Scott Whitehead made every effort to keep the crowd stirred up and cheering. The entire event was coordinated by Gloria Harris, Guidance Department Administrative Assistant.
Final score for game: Faculty, 33: Students, 22.