D-B Excel students design Tennessee’s ornaments for National Christmas Tree

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- On December 5th the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will illuminate Washington D.C. Every US state and territory will be represented on Christmas trees. This year, ornaments showcasing Tennessee were chosen to be created by Dobyns-Bennet’s D-B Excel school.

The Tennessee Department of Education chose D-B Excel to design the ornaments because of the school’s strong digital arts program.

Digital arts instructor Sara Leimkuhler said her students spent the month of October creating 24 unique designs. From initial sketches to full renderings on Adobe software, they ensured all ornaments were ready to be shipped to the nation’s capital by the deadline.

“I thought it was great that we got picked out of the whole Tennessee to be on that tree,” said junior Hannah Hopkins. “I thought that was a great moment to show what we can do, and how we use Adobe.”

From scenic views, to the state flag, to Dolly Parton – the 24 designs represent what makes Tennessee special.

“We’ve had the state flower, the iris. We’ve had Graceland and Elvis. We’ve had the mockingbird, and other geographical features of Tennessee,” said Leimkuhler.

Senior Amelia Faurot was responsible for two designs that depicted Tennessee’s mountains in both autumn and winter.

One of Faurot’s designs

“From the beginning, I really knew I wanted to do something centered around nature and the mountains around here. I think that’s something that really represents us as East Tennessee,” Faurot said.

The final designs were printed out and inserted into bulbs. A group of students and school representatives were invited to the D.C ceremony to see their creations on the tree in person.

“We’re actually going to the reception that they’re having, and then actual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony where the president will light the Christmas tree in front of the White House,” Leimkuhler said. “We’re super excited.”


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