De-Stress Fest a Big Success


Joseph Giganti, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Friday, December 10, Notre Dame Academy held its first “De-stress Fest.”

Organized by Student Services and held in the Alumni Gym, it featured stations designed to help students and adults take a moment to be calm and relax amidst their incredibly noisy and busy lives. 

These stations included a Play-doh table, a coloring-page table, a dog-petting station with Mrs. Mahlock’s dogs Howard and Angel, a temporary tattoo station, hot chocolate, a card-writing station and a yoga video with pads. Serene music played in the background to set a mellow mood. 

The inspiration for this event may surprise you. 

“I actually saw, on tiktok, another school that did this, and we knew that after the pandemic that adults and students needed that, so we did our own version,” explained Counselor Beth Abler. 

Many students attended, although there was a particular point of interest. 

“I came because I wanted to pet the puppy,” said senior Abby Anderson. 

“I also came to pet the puppies, as well, and, of course, to de-stress,” added senior Cassandra Schounard. 

Not only were they a point of interest, but they were also a common favorite among attendees. 

“I came for the dogs, and I LOVED Howard,” exclaimed senior Kailey Whitehouse. 

However, the puppies weren’t the only star attraction.

“I liked the temporary tattoos. Mrs. Stanczack got one, and it was the highlight of my day,” said Sophie Hornberger. 

Mrs. Katie Stanczack wasn’t the only teacher at the station; Mr. Chris Gray was found sculpting Play-doh.

“I’m a philosophy teacher, and Play-doh and its aspect of creation seems like one of the natural activities,” said Mr. Gray. 

The teachers and staff involved hope that the message of the event gets across to those who attend. 

“I think it’s a fantastic community builder. I hope our students know how much we are praying for them, and how much we hope for their success,” said Mrs. Stanczack. 

A first-time for NDA, this event seems like it might be here to stay, based on reactions from the administration towards its success.

“It’s a great idea. We should do more things that are helpful to the kids. I’m very thankful to Student Services for all the work they’ve done,” said Principal Patrick Browne.