Tyrone Students Prepare a Holiday Meal for Teachers and Staff

Chad Steele and Mr. Barry Herr enjoying the holiday meal together.

Mr. Josh Zupon’s classroom was filled with food, laughter, and holiday cheer on Wednesday as students from his and Mrs. Shannon Davis’s classes served a home-cooked Christmas dinner with all the fixings to their teachers and other invited middle and high school staff members and administrators.

The students were in charge of all aspects of the event from menu planning and budgeting, to shopping and food preparation.

With a little help from Mrs. Davis and Mr. Zupon, they completed everything over a three day period.

students shopping at WalMart
photos courtesy of Mrs. Shannon Davis
Kailey Nelson and Megan Zaker shop for Christmas dinner supplies at WalMart in Altoona.

“The main idea of this event is for us to give back to our teachers and show off the things we’ve learned from them,” said sophomore Hunter McGarvey. “Obviously, they’re here to help us but this is our chance to take control and allow them to sit back.”

The meal has become one of Tyrone’s High School’s most loved holiday traditions.

Every year, Albemarle Chemical of Tyrone donates $200 to the students to purchase food and supplies for the dinner.

“My class has been doing this for about ten years,” said Zupon, “and when Mrs. Davis took the job, the middle and high school combined and we’ve been doing it together for about three years. It makes the transition from middle school to high school much easier for them,” said Zupon.

The first thing the students had to do was decide on a menu.  Then, with money from Albemarle, they had to make a budget and go shopping.

“They come up with a menu of what they want to make. We try to keep it easy and realistic, showing them what it would be like living on their own,” said Davis.

On Monday, with their shopping lists in hand, the class traveled to WalMart in Altoona to purchase food and supplies.

The students then spent much of the school day on Tuesday preparing the food.

On Wednesday, they set the tables, put out the food and got to show off all of their hard work.

The class prepared a meal that included ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, stuffing, pasta, brownies, and pumpkin pie.

“The reason we do this is to show off our cooking skills and our preparation skills. It’s a really nice thing to show off what we have learned all year and put on a nice little show for [everyone],” said Zupon.

The students practice these skills daily and were excited to finally host the event and show their teachers what they can do.

“My favorite part of the day is sitting with the teachers and staff members,” said sophomore Chad Steele.

As the teachers and staff arrived at the dinner, the students practiced their manners, greeted everyone, and thanked them for coming.

By the look on everyone’s faces, the event seemed to go perfectly.  The students were proud of what they accomplished and the guests were more than pleased.

“The food was delicious. The students did a great job with everything and I know that all the teachers really appreciate all the work that went into making it for us,” said social studies teacher Todd Cammarata.

students and teacher eating
Todd Cammarata
Students and teachers share a holiday meal that was prepared by the students in Mr. Zupon’s and Mrs. Davis’s classes.