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Waynesboro Area Senior High School junior brings back Winter Formal

Hannah-Kate Schlegel came up with the idea to resurrect the school's Snow Ball as her senior project

January 03, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Waynesboro Area Senior High School junior Hannah-Kate Schlegel is reviving the school's tradition of a wintertime formal dance.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Hitting the books after a fun-filled winter break packed with holiday magic can be a bit of a let down, but one Waynesboro Area Senior High School junior has the high school buzzing with excitement.

Hannah-Kate Schlegel, 17, hatched an idea last summer to cultivate school spirit and have students kicking up their heels at the same time with a January dance.

As her senior project, Hannah-Kate came up with the idea to resurrect the high school’s Snow Ball defunct for several decades. The Winter Formal was re-born.

“I think it’s going to go really well. I have to be honest. It spread mostly by word of mouth,” she said.

Currently, the school has two formal dance events: homecoming in the fall and prom for upperclassman in the spring, Hannah-Kate said.

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The Winter Formal will be held on Jan. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

The event is open to students in grades nine through 12. Tickets cost $10 per person and will be sold in the high school cafeteria. The event will benefit the American Trauma Society, Hannah-Kate said.

Her goal is to draw 500 to the event and raise $5,000 for the charity.

The official name is Winter Formal, and she said the attire is no different than prom or homecoming.

“People are already buying dresses and talking about the groups they are going with and making hair appointments. They are so excited,” she said.

Some suggested Snow Ball and Snowflake Ball, but she said it’s easier to promote the event keeping it simple and dubbing it the Winter Formal.

High School Principal Chris Dennis said senior projects are part of the district’s graduation requirements.
The criteria of the senior project is it can’t benefit the student, he said.

A lot of senior projects have passed across Dennis’ desk, but he said Hannah-Kate’s was certainly unique.

There have been senior projects that involved mission trips, volunteer work and job shadowing, Dennis said.

“Both (dean of students) Tom Hoffman and I thought Hannah-Kate’s to be a really good one,” Dennis said.

“One that would be of high interest to our students and provide them with something fun to do on a Saturday night.”

While it’s hard to pin down when or why the Snow Ball dissolved, former high school principal Louis Barlup Jr., who presided over the school for 26 years, could only estimate that the Snow Ball ended more than 20 years ago.

Martha Wissinger of Greencastle, Pa., graduated from Waynesboro in 1970.

As she scanned her senior yearbook, more and more memories flooded back from the event.

“They had a five-person court and crowned a queen,” she said.

“I think that it’s a really neat idea that she’s bringing something back from the past. I think that’s great,” Wissinger said.

Hannah-Kate started brainstorming in June and moved into full gear when school started this year preparing for the big event.

While the 17-year-old hopes to pursue a career in neurology, this experience has fine-tuned her event planning skills.

“From soup to nuts, I planned the whole thing, decorated (with some friends), will sell tickets, hired the DJ and security,” she said. “But, I really enjoyed doing it.”

After years without a Winter Formal, she hopes the event doesn’t end again.

“I would definitely love for another student to take this up and keep it going. But for me it will only be one year,” she said.

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