Perry’s annual lights return

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Some people go Black Friday shopping or watch their favorite movies as a Christmas tradition, but Mr. Rich Perry has his own.

Mr. Perry, science teacher decorates his room with lights and other holiday related items every year.

“I have decorated my room every year since I have started teaching and it has only gotten more extensive the longer I do it because I get more lights and things each year,” Mr. Perry said.

Mr. Perry said the Christmas lights are a hassle to put up, but he has his family help, and it does not take nearly as long as it would if he was doing it by himself.

“It varies from year to year, but this year my wife and I spent two hours on one day and then my wife, both of my sons, one of my son’s girlfriends, and I spent five hours on another.  In manual labor per person, it was a total of 29 hours.  Back when it was just me and my wife, before we had our kids, it took forever to set everything up, but I also did not have as many decorations as I do now,” he said.

The teacher began this tradition because one of his favorite teachers in high school did the same.

“My chemistry teacher in high school used to always decorate his room during Christmas, and he was one of the most influential teachers in my life, so even then, I knew that I would have my room decorated like that when I got my own classroom.  It also makes everyone happy, and all my kids love it,” Mr. Perry said.

Mr. Perry’s students also love the addition of Christmas lights.  Junior Devin Weidner said they are great to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

“My favorite part about the lights in the class are the big, bright LED lights in the back.  I love how the room feels; it is a happy reminder of how close we are to Christmas and all that comes along with it,” Weidner said.

Recognition from the entire school is a large part of why Mr. Perry continues to decorate every year.

“My favorite part about my lights every year is when students that I don’t have pop their heads in my room and are in complete awe.  It’s nice when kids notice it as they walk by, and I love being able to bring that type of spirit into the school,” he said.

Senior Belle Roscoe reminisced on her time in Mr. Perry’s class and all the excitement of his Christmas lights.

“I loved the vibe when I had his class; it always felt so cozy in his room and really put me into the Christmas spirit.  It made me very happy and joyful in the midst of the gloomy winter,” Roscoe said.