Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

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Polar Plunge 2024

  On February 1st, sixty-eight  THS students and staff went to Sandy Point State Park, which is just off the Bay Bridge, to participate in Maryland’s Cool Schools Polar Bear Plunge. The Polar Bear Plunge is a cold water plunge to raise money for Maryland’s Special Olympics. The Polar Bear Plunge is an annual event hosted by Special Olympics Maryland that has brought many students, staff, and adults in the workforce together creating an inclusive community. These plunges create and raise money for individuals with special needs to be involved in year-round sports and activities. 


     THS passed its goal of fundraising $5000 and raised $5,648 for the plunge! Alongside achieving this amazing goal, our principal, Mrs. Lisa Smith, agreed to jump in the 38o water with us. Many students who participate are in our THS Best Buddies Club, and who are enrolled in our Unified Sports or Art classes, took the 1.5-hour bus ride to Sandy Point. Additionally, some of our amazing staff like Coach O’Brien, Mrs. Krem, and our SRO Officer Hugi joined us too! The plunge is a great way to get involved with the school and help contribute to a good cause.  


     The Polar Bear Plunge is an event that offers a variety of food options and fun activities, including bouncy houses and a DJ dance area. During the plunge, Maryland schools line up and run together across Sandy Point Beach, with other schools from FCPS also participating, such as Urbana High School. school, Linganore High School, and Brunswick Middle School. There are also chances to talk to Special Olympic Athletes and get their ideas on the Polar Bear Plunge or being a Special Olympic Athlete. 


  This year it has been Mrs. Ilysha Brown’s 3 year plunge. She is one of our amazing Learning for Life teachers. Brown enjoys attending the plunge each year, “The camaraderie of being there with a lot of friends. We love to go as a group and support a worthy cause.” Additionally, Brown admires the connections the Learning for Life students create and build with the staff like Coach OB and Coach P! She believes it is very important to plunge to support the Special Olympics Maryland but also, “To spread how amazing the program is at THS especially at big events where we can partner with other groups.” 

Furthermore, Brown, when she sees students plunging there, notices  such a positive environment created; it strengthens our community. As a Learning for Life teacher, she constantly has to be watching over the students, but she notices “Students working together with the students in the L4L class is the best. They make forever lasting relationships.” 


     Another one of our Plungers this year was the President of THS Best Buddies Club, Tyler O’Brien. He is a 4 year plunger and has always enjoyed jumping in the freezing cold water. Tyler says his favorite thing about plunging is how it is for Special Olympics Maryland but also, “This year so many of us went stayed in the water for a long time, so it was really nice to see that.” Tyler is always encouraging his friends to plunge because “it is great to help fundraise for Special Olympics Maryland.” He has been involved with Best Buddies for all 4 years in high school and will miss Best Buddies;  some of his biggest takeaways from plunging in high school will be “Not seeing best buddies constantly growing larger and larger and miss the experience it has provided me and making our school even more inclusive.”


     One student who joined us for the plunge this year is Lily King. She is a freshman who enjoys being on the Bocce team and is on the Varsity Volleyball team. Lily enjoyed plunging and was in the water the whole 15 minutes. She said her favorite part about plunging was “Spending the day with Best Buddies and being able to experience plunging with my brother.” Besides seeing all the happy faces and hanging out with all her friends in Best Buddies, Lily Plunges because “It’s really satisfying to see all the buddies’ faces when we are all hanging out together. Also it is great to help fundraise for the Special Olympics Maryland!” 


Lily encourages her friends to plunge with THS next year because it makes the Best Buddies day but also its a very positive environment.  After experiencing her first year plunging, Lily agreed that next year she will “go completely in the water dunking my head under too and getting out slightly sooner to have enough time and skip the lines to get into the changing rooms.” Many other students enjoyed the plunge and encourage everyone to join us next year to plunge again for the Special Olympics Maryland Polar Bear Plunge 2025!

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