Student staff basketball game


Photo by Hannah Markov

A teacher plays in the student/staff basketball game. The staff won the game by two points.

WJ Leadership class hosted a student vs. staff basketball game last Friday, Dec. 7, to raise money for the Children’s Home Project, an Arizona-based non profit organization that provides food, education, and safety to children in Honduras. One of the program directors, Jilli Schulz, is the daughter of Jaleh Schulz, a math teacher at our school. Ms. Schulz was at the game and spoke about her experience.

“I was really touched and grateful that we do stuff like this. I know that my daughter really appreciated it and I hope that we can continue raising money every year.” Schulz said. “It’s a small organization and most of the money that is raised goes straight to the kids. A small donation of $75 can pay for school supplies for the kids for a month.”

For five dollars, students purchased a ticket to the game and were entered into a raffle to win prizes like vintage WJ jerseys and AirPods. Proceeds from the event amounted to over six hundred dollars, all of which went to the charity.

The staff team opened with a big lead right from the start of the game. Math teacher Brian Fairall and paraeducator Chase Reider led the charge, scoring from inside and from 3-point range. However, after some shady scorekeeping, the students came back to tie the game at 58 points each. Despite late-game heroics from the students, the staff team won the game with a buzzer-beating layup.

Although they did not emerge victorious in the game, the students still enjoyed playing against their teachers and supporting a good cause.

“I loved being able to play basketball with the other junior class officers, especially knowing that all the proceeds were going to The Children’s Home Project,” junior class Treasurer Kayla Kahrl said. “I won the AirPods which was amazing because I didn’t think it was going to happen! I’ll definitely go again next year.”

The teachers echoed the positive sentiments of the students. In addition to winning the game, they got their own share of prizes, including coffee, gift cards to local restaurants and, best of all, bragging rights.

”I enjoyed playing the game although basketball is not my best sport. I’m happy that I made a layup!” Assistant Principal Jeff Leaman said. “I had no idea we had such talented staff and students in that realm of things”

Although WJ has had student vs. staff basketball games in the past, it has never become an annual school tradition. Many new events have proven unpopular with the students, such as flocking during P4P and the Winter Ball last winter, so the Leadership class was unsure as to how the event would be received. After the game, they were very pleased with how many people attended.

“The game exceeded my expectations! So many people came and had a great time.” SGA Vice President Karina Lee said. “I had so much fun being the MC, watching Ms. Baker play basketball and raising money for a great cause! Maybe we should make the game a school tradition.”