Just as Christmas time comes to an end, many will store away the decorations and the Christmas tree, but the memories that are made with family, friends and loved ones during the holiday season will stick with everyone throughout the year. Students from Juniata Valley captured what they think is important around the holiday season in their poetry, essays and cards that were submitted into The Daily News Christmas Eve contest.

Throughout the beginning of December, JVHS students had been working hard on finishing their final products to be submitted into the contest. Students were to either write a poem or essay or draw a Christmas card based around the theme “priceless gifts.” Each category had an overall winner, who received $50, and also each school winner received $20.

Juniata Valley students had quite a lot of success in the card and poetry contest, winning overall in both categories. Caden Rupert, who is a junior at JVHS, was selected as the overall winner for the poetry contest. In his poem, Rupert mentions how important it is to spend quality time with family and cherish the memories that are made together.

The Juniata Valley Junior High winner in the poetry contest was eighth grader Savannah Hunter. The Juniata Valley High School winner was junior Evelyn Connelly.

“Every year I look forward to doing this contest. It’s a great way to spread some Christmas cheer in the classroom, to get students engaged in writing and to spotlight some of their talents,” said Jessica Mills, an English teacher.

“I wrote my essay, because I wanted to send a message about giving priceless gifts, mainly to people without homes. I had a ton of fun writing and learning about how to give back to the less fortunate,” said Kate Dyerson, a seventh grade student from JVHS in Mills’ class.

The Christmas card contest reminded everyone of the “reason for the season” as senior Stephanie Bishop won overall with her card displaying baby Jesus lying in the manger as farm animals gather around.

“I thought the theme this year was the best one yet, being that it made us think a little deeper about what a priceless gift really is. The baby in the manger is the most priceless gift I could think of and I think sometimes we take that for granted,” said Bishop.

Another Juniata Valley student, junior Luke Atherton, was also given a spotlight as the honorable mention in the card contest. The JVHS winner was freshman Taylor Barron and the JVHS honorable mention was sophomore Baylee Regula.

“I am always amazed at the talent and creativity of my students,” said Ann Rahoi, the art teacher at JVHS. “They put so much time and effort into their pieces and I’m proud of their accomplishments.”

While participating in the contest, students were able to look past their wish lists filled with expensive items and devices and instead look at the things that can’t have a price tag put on them. Whether it be family, friends, or maybe even just the memories that we have left of dear loved ones, everyone has something that is like a priceless gift.



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