Tonganoxie’s hometown celebration
Crowning, parade, inductions part of homecoming festivities
When you wish upon a star, it usually doesn’t matter who you are, but this week it will be all Disney most of the time at Tonganoxie High School.
This year’s theme is The Wonderful World of Tongie, as Monday was Monster Monday and Tuesday Lion King Tuesday. Today is Disney Duo Day and there is a special event this evening.
The traditional bonfire will happen in the grass area south of the THS access road and Beatty Field. Festivities at the bonfire in the past have included THS band performances, games and the main event: the bonfire. Activities start at 6:30 p.m. today.
Homecoming Week continues with the next day being Throwback Thursday.
Friday will be the traditional Red/White Day and the parade through downtown will start at 1:30 p.m.
It’s also Coronation Day (A “Frozen” reference), as royalty will be crowned before the THS football game against Bishop Ward.
Candidates this year for queen are Hope Creten, Rachel Schuck, Bailey Jackson, Savanah Reynolds, Emily Chambers and Grace Woods. King candidates are Jordan Brown, Drew Cook, Matthew Johnson, Michael Mast, Keaton Richert and Braydon Shryock.
The Tonganoxie High football team will look to make Homecoming week fun on Friday night when the Chieftains take on the Cyclones at 7 p.m. at Beatty Field.
THS looks to remain undefeated after dropping Spring Hill, 33-13, in the season opener and last week’s 46-40 overtime victory against Eudora. The Chieftains also are getting some consideration in state rankings.
Bishop Ward enters the game at 0-2 and without any points yet on the season. Basehor-Linwood defeated the Cyclones, 82-0, in Week 1 and then Lansing beat them, 46-0, last Friday.
Homecoming Week has also beeen a time for football and parades, but alsow notable alums.
The annual Tonganoxie Education Foundation Hall of Fame induction will take place during the THS football game on Friday, but a reception also will happen from 3-5 p.m. Friday at Myers Hotel.
Art Hancock, a 1958 Tonganoxie High School graduate, is this year’s Alumni Achievement Award winner. The local longtime businessman is founder and first president of the USD 464 Education Foundation, is a former Tonganoxie City Council member and has a perfect 56-year attendance at the Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament.
Hall of Fame inductees this year are Jeanie Bliss Williams, Kenneth J. Hardy and Deniece Wolfe Wakeman.
Williams, a 1967 Atwood High School graduate, graduated from Wichita State University and taught elementary school at Belle Plaine for three years before teaching 28 years at Tonganoxie Elementary School. Her husband, Phil Williams, was a longtime THS math teacher and cross country coach who is a previous inductee.
Hardy graduated from THS in 1959 before joining the military. He was released in 1960 because of football-related injuries and then began an automotive career before establishing the automobile technology program at THS.
Wakeman is the final inductee. Another THS graduate herself in 1969, she went on to Emporia State University and spent her entire 32-year teaching career at TES. She was awarded a $10,000 Ronald McDonald House Charities scholarship to fund training and implementation of a training site at TES and implemented reading programs at TES. She also was a nominee for the 1998 Kansas Teacher of the Year award. Her husband, Pat Wakeman, is a previous Hall of Fame inductee.
The Hall of Fame class will be on hand at the football game Friday night and will be presented a wood plaque at halftime. An identical plaque will hang in the concourse near the Tonganoxie Performing Arts Center.
Homecoming festivities wrap up Saturday morning with an Academic Achievement recognition breakfast at Tonganoxie Middle School. The breakfast is for students who scored high on state assessments last year in grades 3-7 last year. That event begins at 8 a.m.
And finally, the THS Homecoming Dance will run from 8:30-11 p.m. Saturday in the THS west gymnasium.