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May 23. 2013 8:09PM

From middle school to Middle Ages in Windham

Seventh graders Daniel Donabedian, Vincent Marino and Adam Messina were knights in shining armor as part of Windham Middle School's annual Medieval Day. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

WINDHAM — For one magical day each May, Windham Middle School is transformed into a majestic medieval manor.

As part of the seventh-grade class's annual Medieval Day on Thursday, students and staff dressed as lords, ladies, knights and peasants.

It was a welcome change of pace for the students, who enjoyed trying their hands at jousting, eating with their hands, getting thrown into a makeshift dungeon and dancing to chamber music, as the gym and cafeteria were transformed into "Midwin Castle."

Seventh-grade teacher Bill Buckley and physical education teacher Erin Shirley reigned as the day's King and Queen, with their students playing the roles of lords and ladies, knights and squires, and peasants and friars.

Dressed in medieval garb, the entire seventh grade was led into the gymnasium during the "Royal Procession," while jugglers and jesters captivated the crowd's attention.

The Grand March was soon followed by a traditional dance, performed by the court's leading lords and ladies: students Kylee Andreoli, Robert Tringale, Megan Blake, Justin Lamb, Courtney Costa, Jack Swabrick, Isabelle Eterian, William Tu, Olivia Barbaro, Jonathan Saklad, Sarah Connors, Nico Piandes, Megan Manzo, Joe Micchicie, Julia Worden, Ben Montgomery, Joycelyn Lagasse and Maz Sweetzer.

Shirley said the tradition of her school's Medieval Day began some 30 years ago, long before the current middle school was built.

"When we see our kids come back and visit us long after they've finished college, this is one event they remember fondly," she said.

King said the popular event, which involves dozens of parent and staff volunteers, takes over a month's worth of planning.

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