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The GCEA’s Christmas Decorating Contest promotes holiday cheer in all schools and businesses

Friday, December 9, 2022

Every Christmas, I look forward to seeing and hearing about the Christmas spirit in the community. Villages illuminated with holiday lights and cheerful music playing throughout the month of December bring me immense joy. One of my favorite aspects of Christmas is experiencing a sense of togetherness in the community. Collectively, they make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.

Last year, the Kagman Elementary School (KagES) won the Marianas Village Pride Campaign’s Christmas Decorating Contest. The contest was judged on four criteria: beautification, creativity, festive, and bonus for using recycled material.

With this in mind, each of our KagES team members contributed greatly to the experience. They thought of little details like using recycled materials to make wreaths, giant present boxes, and gingerbread men to make it extra special. The addition of colorful Christmas lights to the front courtyard added to the festive spirit we wanted to emphasize at night. I'd say our inspiration was to highlight a huge Christmas tree right in front of the Main Office with a four-point star so that our students could see our Christmas spirit as soon as they entered our campus.

We were thrilled when we were told that KagES had won the Christmas Decorating contest because the prize was a $1,000 gift certificate to All Star Sporting Goods! With the coaches’ help, we were able to identify the supplies and sports equipment that the team lacked. We then purchased brand-new sports equipment for our students so that they would be better prepared to participate in the Public School System’s co-ed athletic program.

Marianas School Pride Christmas Decorating Contest

The momentum of winning last year’s contest and understanding the benefits for the students are propelling us to participate in this year’s Marianas School Pride Christmas Decorating Contest. As the criteria stay the same, we decided to stay true to our Blue Marlin spirit with a Beachy Christmas theme incorporating the use of materials washed up on our Kagman beaches. In October, a group of our students participated in a beach clean-up and found materials such as rope, driftwood, and buoys, which we turned into Christmas decorations. Our main goal is to show students that they can be creative during the holiday season by using natural and recycled materials. The results are festive and good for the environment.

If our school wins the Most Festive School Contest this year, we intend to reward our participants with gifts as a token of our gratitude for their dedication and hard work. We have been blessed with students who are eager to participate in activities outside of the classroom and are passionate about sharing their Christmas spirit with others.

Making memorable experiences throughout their elementary school years is critical to helping them stay motivated as they work toward graduation from high school. Staying spirited during the holidays may be one way they are reminded that they are loved and cherished, especially at this time of year.

I highly encourage all schools and businesses to participate in the Christmas Decorating Contest. The holiday season is a time for people to come together to spread joy and the Christmas spirit, and participating in the Christmas Decorating Contest allows students, team members, and the community to be a part of spreading and receiving the holiday spirit.

Together, We Can!

For more information visit the GCEA website at Engage with the Council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at

By Trina Santos

Trina Santos, a counselor at Kagman Elementary School (KagES), was named School-Level Counselor of the Year in 2022. Trina is the Marianas School Pride Advisor at KagES, and she leads a team of six Marianas School Pride Ambassadors.

Marianas Variety:


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