No debate about it, pumpkin recycling is cool and commendable
1. Smashing pumpkins
Highland Park High freshman Whit Mabus recently earned Boy Scouting’s highest rank, but it was photographs of the 15-year-old’s Eagle project that caught our attention.
Admittedly pictures of a mountain of pumpkins look a bit out of season, but these were too (pun most definitely intended) gourd-geous not to share. Besides, People Newspapers publisher Pat Martin loves a good recycling story.
During the fall, Mabus, a member of the Park Cities Baptist Church-chartered Troop 518, generated excitement through social media and collected 50,000 pounds of pumpkins in his front yard.
Thirty-nine volunteers – family, friends, neighbors, and other Scouts – helped send 11 trailer loads to Mars Hill Farm. The faith-based organization helps international refugees acclimate to North Texas by providing work and gardening opportunities.
Instead of going to a landfill, the pumpkins went to the farm’s livestock.
“Pumpkins help with gut health and digestion, and animals love them,” Mabus’ mother, Meredith, said. “Pumpkin recycling should be an annual event. Hopefully, we can do it again next year but not in Whit’s front yard.”
2. Top debaters
Don’t argue with Lillian Goetz and Peyton Bono. Goetz, a Highland Park High School freshman, won the silver division of the Novice Policy Division at the JW Patterson Invitational by taking five out of six rounds. The fall tournament, held virtually, included 49 schools from 17 states. Bono, a sophomore, won two awards in the Ed Long Hockaday Memorial Tournament: the third overall speaker award and third place in the Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate division.
3. Essay award winners
Nine Highland Park ISD students wrote about private property rights and won awards in the nationwide annual Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Youth Essay Contest.
4. Happy birthdays
Personally signed birthday messages to HPISD’s 800-plus employees from Superintendent Tom Trigg arrive throughout the year with cheerful colors and original lettering from seventh-grader Marie Claire Richardson. Using colored pencils and markers, she won the annual HPISD Birthday Card Cover Art Contest open to all students each summer.
In November, we recognized Highland Park High’s National Merit Semifinalists, and in February, the National Hispanic, African American, and Indigenous Recognition Program Scholars. The school also celebrates 28 Commended Students for their performance on the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
– Compiled by Greg Nielsen and William Taylor