By J1 Reporter Courtney Kilroy
Hoards of teenage girls pushed and shoved their way to the gym. Hands were held, prayers were whispered, suspense was rampant. On Friday, Sept. 30, results of Walk-A-Thon (WAT) were announced.
For many of the new teachers and staff members, the WAT results assembly was their first time experiencing on a large scale the loud screams and overwhelming enthusiasm Marian is known for.
One of these teachers was Mr. Paul Niedbalski, the new band teacher. “I’ve only ever been involved in program-specific fundraisers, like band candy or discount cards for athletics. It was cool to see the whole school get involved!” Niedbalski said. “It’s a great way for the students to give back to their school, and a great way for the Omaha community to invest in Marian!”
Ms. Sue Altman, one of the new mathematics teachers, commented on how the spirit of Marian translates through WAT, saying, “I found it difficult to look at those students that knew they couldn’t raise money- due to their neighborhood or own economic situation…” In response to this, Altman’s homeroom and others began putting spare change in a jar for students who couldn’t bring in money. By the end of collection, the jar contained almost $250. “The compassion my homeroom showed for their classmates- this made it all worth it!” she said.
Though some may feel that WAT becomes more competitive than collaborative, Mr. Kent Bray, another new math teacher this year, said: “I felt like the grade levels were trying to win, but it was done in the spirit of raising the money for Marian and all seemed pretty happy with the final results.”
New teachers have already formed their opinion after just one WAT, “I love WAT!” This is possibly the best display of what WAT should truly be: a well-kept tradition that truly unites and benefits everyone in the Marian community.