WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Sunday night, the nation will get the chance to watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington D.C. But what you may not realize is that high school students in Cincinnati are representing Ohio in the tree lighting with their photography. 

What You Need To Know

  • 18 students at Lakota Central High School have their photos on display in Washington D.C.

  • The photos are part of the National Christmas Tree display

  • The students' photos are on the Ohio tree as well as at the White House Visitor Center

  • The Lakota students are the only students from Ohio represented

Khi Brown just started getting into photography.

“I just think that’s a really fun way to capture things that you wouldn’t always see," said Brown, a senior at Lakota Central High School. "Like for example, if you see a sunset one day and it’s really pretty, you might not get to see it ever again. So why not capture it so it will last forever?” 

Khi Brown takes photos at Lakota Central High School. (Spectrum News 1/Katie Kapusta)

Now she's getting some recognition.

Her photo is one of 18 from students at Lakota Central that were chosen to be a part of the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Their photos are emblazoned on ornaments gracing the Ohio tree outside the White House, including entries from fellow students Dominic Modinger and Sydney Fouch.

Brown's photo of a sunset she took earlier this semester. (Spectrum News 1/Katie Kapusta)

“I had a theme of what makes Ohio beautiful and I thought landscape and I think that’s one of the best landscape photos I have," said Modinger, a sophomore.

“This is the first picture I took after I started photography and I had learned so much the first day and it was so much more than I had known," said Fouch, a senior. "And it was just such a good picture, a good story.”

Dominic Modinger (left) and Sydney Fouch practice taking photos outside. (Spectrum News 1/Katie Kapusta)

Art teacher Jodi Kessler got a chance to witness the tree lighting in person last week and see some of the ornaments up close. She hopes the students understand just how important this is.

“It’s hard for the kids to grasp how big of a deal this really is because they’re here in West Chester and they aren’t in Washington D.C.," Kessler said. "We got to go and experience it and celebrate what was happening. Whereas they’re here and they’re like 'Oh okay, that’s a big deal.' But we’re trying to let them know that the president and the vice president were at this tree lighting ceremony, with their ornaments in front of the White House. And I hope it’s something that they’ll always remember.”

Jodi Kessler looks through her pictures of her time in D.C. (Spectrum News 1/Katie Kapusta)

For Brown, she said she’s proud of herself and her classmates.

“I was really shocked, actually," Brown said. "I was like 'Wow, this is pretty cool.' It’s not every day that you get to be a part of something this big.”

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.