Thomaston High School: First Day Should Be the Best Day of High School

Thomaston High School senior Shawn Galeski (left) arrived to school on a red carpet. The school mascot and teachers, including Terri Franzi, welcomed students back for their first day. The school worked to reinvent the first day of school based on an idea from a conference that proposed the idea that the first day of school can be the best day of the year for students. (Chamberlain photo)

THOMASTON — Thomaston High School welcomed students back for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 28. This year, the high school decided to reinvent the first day of school after Guidance Counselor Breanna Riollano went to a conference that proposed the idea that the first day of school can be the best day of the year for students.

Ms. Riollano proposed the idea to the school’s culture committee, which is responsible for supporting and funding events that will help build the community for students and staff.

“We have this big day planned that’s not about rules, it’s not about regulations,” said Ms. Riollano. “It’s about building a culture here that’s fun and friendly and family oriented where kids can feel safe and happy all the time, not just on the first day of school.”

The day was full of activities sponsored by the community and the National Guard.

To start the day, the school hosted a free breakfast for all students. The cafeteria provided yogurt, juice and tea as well as bagels that were provided by Tony’s Coffee Express.

“The kids had no idea that this was happening,” said Ms. Riollano. “It’s really exciting and fun for them.”

After breakfast, students met in their advisory groups, which are groups of 10 to 12 students that remain together throughout their high school career. During this time, students took photos and attended a club and athletics fair.

Throughout the day, students went outside for activities the National Guard provided like an inflatable obstacle course, bungee run, lawn games and a game of tug a war.

There was an overall sense of empowerment for students and staff, especially for students that are new to the school.

Science teacher Aerielle Smith said “it helps the seventh graders relax into the community.”

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