Lessons Galore at Jefferson School’s Harvest Fest

Jefferson School alum Thomas Kouttron brougt kindergarteners on a hayride.

November 22, 2016

Jefferson Primary School’s Harvest Fest harkened back to an earlier era in the town when farming dominated local landscapes and tractors moving about was the norm.

The annual fall festival is a Jefferson tradition and is always enjoyed by students. This year was no different. There was plenty of fun to go around on a recent Friday with various aspects of the academic curriculum packed into the activities.

In the run-up to the festival, Jefferson kindergarteners planted “magical” pumpkin seeds on the school grounds. By the morning of the harvest festival, a pumpkin patch seemingly appeared out of thin air, exactly where the seeds had been dropped!

“Kindergarten students enjoyed a fun-filled morning picking pumpkins from our magic pumpkin patch, storytelling with our librarian, Cindy Tietjen, scarecrow building and enjoying a hayride compliments of Jefferson alum Thomas Kouttron,” Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide said.

Mrs. Tietjen’s interactive storytelling skills have been well documented over the years and she was once again able to bring a reading of Stone Soup to life. Once all the props she used had been placed inside a large cauldron, students were offered a hearty helping of tasty warm soup cooked in the cafeteria.

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Huntington grad Thomas Kouttron
with his tractor at Jefferson Primary School.

“Our generous PTA and teachers planned exciting activities for the children to enjoy,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “It was a wonderful morning for all to enjoy.”

Huntington High School Class of 2015 member Thomas Kouttron was on hand with his 67 year old completely restored Oliver 88 farm tractor. It made the hayride around the property even more special for the youngsters.

Mr. Kouttron is one of Jefferson’s proudest alums. He shared with students and teachers that he discovered the tractor underneath decades of overgrowth from the depths of a nearby farm in 2013.

A sophomore at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts where he is studying mechanical engineering, Mr. Kouttron explained that Jefferson School was built on land previously utilized for farming and that the tractor he unearthed nearby was probably used to once plow the area where the recent festival and hayride were held.

Huntington music teacher Claude Masear livened up the hayride with some sweet sounds from his violin along the way. Students couldn’t have been happier as they toured the school grounds in an open air trailer behind the tractor.

The pumpkins that the youngsters picked and creatively decorated were excitedly carried onto buses at the end of the day as the kindergarteners headed home with lots of memories.