The Pekin Community High School Dragon Pride event took place at the Hawkins Gym and vicinity the evening of April 25, allowing students to share their hard work through the year with parents, family, and the community, with some awarded for their dedication to learning and efforts.

“Dragon Pride is a display of student work at PCHS from all departments in our school,” said Joel Schmieg, Pekin Community High School vice principal. “It’s a great platform to show off the projects the kids do over the school year.”

“There have been tables set up by all departments (of) demonstrated projects in graphics, computers, engineering, science, poetry, art, auto tech, manufacturing, psychology and many more,” added Schmieg.

One department at the event was the culinary arts class, which served food to event guests. 

“The culinary arts class is a two-year program for students who then go on to Illinois Central College or can also find work in the culinary arts after graduation,” said Billie Jo Cassidy, PCHS culinary arts teacher. “We have a restaurant in the downstairs here at the high school that is open to the public two days a week.”

The software applications class offered a typing contest at their display.

“It’s something we do in (the) software apps 1 and 2 classes to get familiar with the keyboard and typing,” said sophomore Kia Jordan, a student in the class.

Scores of the typing contest were displayed on a leaderboard projected on the wall behind the class display.

“It’s just a friendly competition,” said Brett McGinnis, software applications teacher.

The yearbook, graphic communications and publications classes had a booth that combined the students’ hard work and talents over the school year.

“We have a lot of fun,” said PCHS senior Tal Porter. “We are always getting new devices to play with.”

The graphic communications class proudly displayed their prize-winning project, a Skills USA design that won first place in a Pin design competition during this school year.

“We do vinyl cutting, we do posters, we do a bunch of stuff,” said Porter. “We are currently making a vinyl cut trailer piece for the local Boy Scout troop.”

At 7:30 p.m., an awards ceremony took place to honor students for their hard work and dedication through the school year.

“Dragon Pride Awards are given out, and each department votes to give out awards to the students they see exhibit characteristics of leadership, citizenship, effort and academics within their classrooms,” said Schmieg. 

The students are then recognized with a certificate for their award, said Schmieg.