Sweet Tradition at Black Mountain Primary

Sweet Tradition at Black Mountain Primary
Posted on 12/02/2021
The National Gingerbread House Competition is a holiday tradition for one Buncombe County school, and now the students can celebrate a tradition of winning. For five years now, Ms. Ashley Styles, first-grade teacher at Black Mountain Primary, has worked with her students to build a unique creation for the contest.By Breanna Hensley
BCS Communications

The National Gingerbread House Competition is a holiday tradition for one Buncombe County school, and now the students can celebrate a tradition of winning. For five years now, Ms. Ashley Styles, first-grade teacher at Black Mountain Primary, has worked with her students to build a unique creation for the contest.

“Black Mountain Primary has a tradition of entering that goes all the way back to when my now 17 year old son was in first grade,” said Styles. “Every entry into the competition requires a lot of time and dedication. The class spent 45 minutes to an hour each school day beginning at the end of October up until the competition began on November 22.”

This year, the class entered a house and Santa’s personal boat, featuring crabs, an island, reindeer, elves, and Mr. Claus himself. All the fine details really help set the scene of Santa cruising in the ocean after the holiday season ends.

“Little tasks added up to that big boat,” said Ms. Styles.

And that big boat required a variety of skills from the first graders, including design work, cooking, science, and math.

“We learn about shapes and how they work together, as well as measuring and balancing when we bake and build the walls,” Ms. Styles said. “They learn about gravity and about liquids and solids when we mix the icing. The list of learning really is endless.”

This year was the icing on top of the Gingerbread house for the entire classroom. For the first time, Ms. Styles and her students placed third in the nationwide competition. Her reaction to the news is one to remember.

“The pride and joy of watching them realize their work is recognized and even rewarded makes any stress well worth it,” she said. “The joy and excitement this year had me in tears.”

The students were just as excited that their hard work paid off.

“I think one boy could have touched the ceiling with how high he jumped in celebration,” Ms. Styles said.

Visitors have until January 2, 2022 to see Black Mountain Primary's third place creation, as well as all other 120 entries located at the Omni Grove Park Inn.
Collage of Black Mountain Primary students building gingerbread boat