English 2 and AP Lang and Comp teacher Jani Wilkens stands at her desk during her plan period. Paper snowflakes hang above her head and sway in the cold breeze coming from the open window. A student walks in, handing Wilkens a laminated and detailed snowflake. Wilkens smiles, thanks the student, and hangs the snowflake with a paperclip and string from the ceiling. The annual snowflake contest, held by Wilkens, officially stated this year on Dec 3. Students are encouraged to submit snowflakes which will be judged by several other teachers sometime in January.
This winter tradition started three years ago, when FHN alumni Kate Jehle created snowflakes while helping out as a teacher assistant for Wilkens. Last year, other students expressed their want to hang snowflakes around the classroom. Wilkens declared that she would give out prizes for those individuals who could create the best snowflakes.
“For me, it’s to remind me of home, Michigan,” Wilkens said. “For the students it is something different to think about. Especially during the pressure of finals.”
The snowflakes are judged by other teachers selected by Wilkens. These teachers chose several of the snowflakes and place them in different categories such as ugliest, most detailed, and most unique.
“What I think is interesting about this year,” Wilkens said. “is that students are putting in characters into their snowflakes. I don’t think I saw that in years before.”
The website that senior Andy Bartell used is called anthonyherreadesigns.com which creates a cutout design for snowflake enthusiasts to follow when cutting their snowflakes. Other students just cut designs however they pleased.