Wakefield compromises on how to spend the $100,000

Celebrate My Drive winnings impact the school


Staff Photo by Cameron Osiecki

Some of the Celebrate My Drive money was used on technology for the students.

Jillian Kerzner and Palace Jones, Copy Editor and Online Editor

Wakefield’s student body has accomplished many incredible things, including placing in the top five in the Celebrate My Drive competition, which over 3,300 schools participated in nationwide. As many people know, Wakefield received $100,000 as a reward from Celebrate My Drive; however, many students and faculty have been curious to hear what the money has been spent on or will be spent on.

Last winter, a committee consisting of parents, students, teachers, and administrators met multiple times to discuss ideas of what to spend the $100,000 on. They agreed on several propositions, one being a large LED sign that would be placed on the hill towards the front of the school.

“The LED sign will have a message board that can switch messages,” said Dr. Vivian Wells, Assistant Principal and Celebrate My Drive committee member. “Although the sign will take up a large portion of the money, the committee agreed it was a service to the community so they can see what events are going on at the school.”

Right now, we have about $65,000 left to spend, which is most likely going to be used in many different ways according to committee members. Wells stated that Tripp Crayton, Wakefield’s former principal, approved most of the products we have already spent the money on.

“Mr. Crayton initiated the purchase of t-shirts for all of the students, which amounted to around $12,000,” said Wells. “He also had the idea of buying new laptops and some desktops for the classrooms and media center.”

The Celebrate My Drive Committee also purchased a “bulldog” which is similar to a golf cart, except faster and sturdier. The bulldog costing about $8,000, was bought in order to replace the ancient golf carts.

“Mr. Shaw has been driving the bulldog around recently,” said Wells. “It will be convenient in the winter because a plow can be bought for it that can remove the snow from the parking lots.”

Most of the remaining purchases will be decided on by the committee and they are directly targeting  students. Every sophomore through senior in the halls of Wakefield remembers the toil put into placing in the top five.

“The money should be spent on whatever the kids think is important,” said Anthony Calabria, teacher at Wakefield High School. “I don’t think any of the money should go towards the faculty members.”

With that being said, the entire faculty played a huge role in winning the Celebrate My Drive competition.

“Without a doubt Vivian Wells, Melissa Schug, and Coach Dorenkamp helped tremendously,” said Calabria. “In fact, there were so many people that played key roles that it’s hard to name them all.”

The students are definitely passionate about what they want the money spent on. However, it is hard to please everyone in the student body.

“During the committee meetings, we mainly discussed how the money could be used to benefit the majority of the population,” said Megan Blawas, Senior Class President. “We wanted to use most of the money to improve technology to allow for students to do research more often.”

Blawas is one of many students who has an impact on how we spend the money. Every student’s opinion is taken into consideration as best as possible.

“As a student, I like that we got t-shirts and new technology, like laptops,” said Blawas. “I believe it will benefit the entire student body and it is a ‘thank you’ for the hard work they did to win.”

For other students, funneling the money in a different direction takes priority. Students, like Blawas, pitched ideas to the other committee members.

“I’m content with the idea of some of the money being spent on the [LED] sign,” said Bryson Davis, junior at Wakefield and Celebrate My Drive committee member. “However, I would like for some money to go towards re-sodding the fields.”

Although the wheels turn very slowly when you are spending this kind of money for a school, the sense of pride Wakefield has for winning the Celebrate My Drive competition is tremendous. School pride is important, and it has improved after winning the competition. Parents, students, and faculty have truly come together.

“I think overall it was a matter of pride winning this competition,” said Wells. “No other Wake County or North Carolina school came close to Wakefield.”