NHS student ornaments to adorn state tree

NHS student ornaments to adorn state tree in Washington D.C.
Posted on 12/01/2021
NHS student ornaments

Via Nogales International

The 2021 National Christmas Tree display in Washington, D.C. will feature ornaments made by Nogales High School students hung on the Arizona tree.

NHS was the only school in the state to receive that honor, the Nogales Unified School District said in a news release.

As part of the effort, 20 students from an art class at NHS designed 24 ornaments based on the theme of “What Makes Your State Beautiful?”

Their work included images of iconic Arizona landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, as well as the state bird (cactus wren) and state amphibian (Arizona tree frog).

But they also included local landmarks, such as the 1904 Courthouse in Nogales and Tumacácori National Historical Park, as well as images of cultural traditions like a Día de los Muertos altar and folkloric dancing.

The Arizona tree will be one of 57 small trees that make up the “America Celebrates” display on the Ellipse in Presidents Park that surround the National Christmas Tree. They represent each state, territory and schools managed by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education.

The public will have a chance to see the tree display when CBS, in partnership with National Parks Foundation, broadcasts the 2021 National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 8 p.m. Pacific Time (check your channel guide for Mountain Time broadcast).

After the National Park Service asked each state to select one class at one school to submit ornaments, Dustin Loehr, director of arts at the Arizona Department of Education, along with State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, picked NUSD to be this year’s contributor. In turn, NUSD chose an Art II class at NHS, which includes students at various grade and ability levels.

The student artists began developing their designs in October.

Assistant Superintendent Angel Canto, NHS Principal Tim Colgate and art teacher Carolina Lopez all expressed their appreciation for the opportunity.

According to the National Parks Service, the National Christmas Tree Lighting has strong ties to education.

“In 1923, a letter arrived at the White House from the District of Columbia Public Schools proposing that a decorated Christmas tree be placed on the South Lawn of the White House,” the NPS said in a news release. “On Christmas Eve that year, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the Oval Office to the Ellipse and pushed a button that lit the first National Christmas Tree. It was a 48-foot balsam fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.”

Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park.

The tradition of surrounding the National Tree with a smaller one to represent each state and territory began several years ago.

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