The student news site of Coginchaug Regional High School

CRHS News

The student news site of Coginchaug Regional High School

CRHS News

The student news site of Coginchaug Regional High School

CRHS News

The Cog Carnival: More Than Just Fun and Games

The+Cog+Carnival%3A+More+Than+Just+Fun+and+Games

On Wednesday, August 29, students and staff at Coginchaug Regional High School closed the covers on their textbooks and computers, put their pencils down, and took some time to connect at the second annual Coginchaug “Cog” Carnival. This event effectively worked to cultivate a community at Coginchaug and expand the learning experience. While the idea of a “carnival” seems contradictory to the creation of a learning experience, the Cog Carnival differed from the stereotype. Introduced in 2022 by science teacher Mrs. Laura Francis, the event’s goal was to expand the students’ experience at CRHS. While the pandemic put a pause on many events, whether it be from band and chorus concerts to sporting events to just actual in-person learning, the planning committee aimed to remedy that. The pandemic allowed for everyone to experience firsthand the large impact that learning in a classroom setting with peers and teachers truly had on students. With two plus years of the in-person learning experience taken away from students and teachers, the Cog Carnival aims to foster the connection between students, their peers, and teachers that truly transforms the learning experience, all while allowing them to enjoy a “day off.”

Yet, leading up to the Cog Carnival, the Carnival Planning Committee took anything but a “day off.” From planning events during the summer, to tirelessly coordinating details of events, to seamlessly pivoting to accommodate the weather, the Carnival Planning committee’s work did not go unnoticed. Assistant Principal Mrs. Katie Trainer mentioned that “so many hours [were] put in behind the scenes” by the committee and “so many learners, staff, and community members [were] willing to volunteer their time,” something she finds “humbling to know.” Junior Paige Kaliszewski, a member of the Carnival Planning Committee said one thing she loved about organizing the event was “get[ting] to take feedback from students about what they did and didn’t like from the event in the past to make it more enjoyable for everyone.” The Devil’s Advocate Newspaper Club staff would like to personally thank every committee member, volunteer, and staff member for taking the time to make this event possible!

People present on the day of the event were assured that the hard work and dedication paid off. One of the most popular parts was the return of the carnival food. Senior Carter Fudge said that “My favorite part of the carnival was the food” such as the “snow cones, popcorn, and cotton candy.” A new addition this year, the showing of Despicable Me in the auditorium, was also a big hit. According to junior Tessa Lussier, “My favorite part of the carnival was watching a movie in the auditorium.” Teachers were also very happy with the carnival and the sense of community it created. Spanish teacher Mr. Ben Shoudy was very appreciative of the sense of belonging created by the color coded T-shirts. He mentioned, “my favorite part of the carnival was seeing all of the staff and each different grade level in their T-shirts.” He went on to say, “I think it’s really cool that each group has its own color to wear.”

Looking forward, many students and staff are excited for new opportunities at CRHS this school year. As the pandemic had proven, and the Cog Carnival hoped to remedy, the connections with peers and educators help aid learning when expanded past the classroom. Assistant Principal Mrs. Katie Trainer mentioned she was looking forward to Coginchaug’s efforts in providing “opportunities outside of the CRHS building this year,” some of which include the upcoming Global Health service trip to Guatemala and the Music Department competition in Virginia Beach. Many students share in this excitement, with senior Carter Fudge adding he is most excited for “school trips like the DC trip and the band trip.” Teachers as well are looking forward to helping expand their students’ experience past the traditional note-taking and textbook reading. Spanish teacher Mr. Ben Shoudy stated that he was looking forward to “prepare [Spanish IV students] for the World Language proficiency exam in January,” allowing students to receive a seal of biliteracy on their diploma if passed. Experiences like these promote Regional School District 13’s mission to “empower students to thrive and contribute as global citizens.” And while the Coginchaug Carnival might seem like a day of just fun and games, the fostering of connections between students, their peers, and teachers contributes to creating a unique learning experience that goes past the pages of a textbook and beyond the walls of a classroom.

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About the Contributors
Brooke Konefal, Editor and Staff Writer
Brooke Konefal is a Junior at Coginchaug, and this is her third year as a Devil’s Advocate Staff Writer and her first year as an Editor. Additionally, she is a member of the Book Club and the Art Club at CRHS as well as the Spanish Honor Society. Her hobbies include drawing, writing, and crocheting. Brooke joined the Devil's Advocate during her freshman year to pursue her interest in writing.
Annika Liss, Editor
Annika Liss is a Junior at Coginchaug, this is her third year writing for the Devil’s Advocate. She is also involved with Art Club, Model UN, and Book Club. Annika plays French Horn in both Concert and Pep Band and Guitar in Jazz Band. She is an aspiring novelist and an editor at jGirls+ magazine.

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