Mem East Tastes Victory Again in Holiday Gingerbread Contest


Over the weekend of December 11-12, several holiday events brought joy and festivity to the Williston community, and provided another excuse for the girls in Mem East to shine.

On Saturday night, December 11, students congregated in the Birch Dining Commons, where the Wildest Cats hosted a gingerbread house and window painting competition. That night, there was also a screening of the movie Elf in the Williston Theater.

The gingerbread house competition was between dorms and day students, and each team could create whatever they desired with the materials. The staff on duty voted for a winner. Mem East came out victorious, adding to their triumphs this school year in the dorm banner competition, the lip sync, and the fall Willympics.

The window painting was a competition between grades, and the junior class was named the winner. In addition to these competitions, cookies and frosting were available at the event, so students could decorate their own.

Benning Johnson, a senior leader of the Wildest Cats, said the event was well attended by both boarding and day students, and full of good cheer.

“There was a ton of holiday spirit, and the hot chocolate and marshmallows were a perfect touch,” he said. “The windows looked fantastic when they were finished, and it seemed like people had a great time. I know most people then ended their night watching my favorite Christmas movie of all time, Elf.”

Kate Garrity, the dorm head of Mem East, is not surprised her dorm won again. This winning streak has been a long time coming.

“We’ve been waiting for the right moment,” she said. “While Mem East has always been rich with talent and competitive spirit, we were waiting for the right time to explode onto the victory scene.  A wise elder once foretold that there would be a year of shining stardom for our dorm.”

After winning Willympics in the fall, the girls in the dorm gained to confidence they needed. Caledonia McKeon, a sophomore from Northfield, Mass., lives in Mem East and was a primary contributor to the winning gingerbread house.

“I think we all knew that we were going to win from the start, so we just decided to do everything with that mindset of ‘Yeah, we’re winning this already,’” Caledonia said. “[Winning] at the end was just reassurance.”

The other dorms have their eye on Mem East. Edward Bergham, a senior proctor in John Hazen White, thinks the Hazen Boys have the spirit to win later this year.

“I can speak for a lot of the guys when I say that I think that we really do want to try our best,” he said. “We placed the highest out of all the boys’ dorms in the lip sync competition, we really gave it our all, and we tried our best in Willympics. I think we have the winning spirit.”

With Mem East’s continued triumphs, these competitors will certainly face challenges. Caledonia attributes the success of her dorm to the willingness of the whole dorm to be involved.

“The 12th graders and the juniors in Mem East always take leadership and get us to do stuff, and I feel like none of us are left out and it’s been really fun to feel like I’m part of it,” she said.

Garrity is ready for the girls to keep winning; there’s only one issue to worry about, she said.

“We’ve always had a culture of excellence, one with a healthy competitive spirit.  Now that we’re in the spotlight, we’ll likely just keep winning,” she said. “My only concern is that we may need to build a trophy case.  That could attract some envious competitors, but I think we’ll be able to tune out that noise.”