Hundreds screamed, balls tossed, and shoes discarded. In a reprieve during the school day, over 1200 students and faculty members put aside their school duties and assembled for the Welcome Back Assembly.
In the first class competition of the year, seniors took first place after winning the beachball and shoe relay games, and class cheer.
“I was surprised,” said Vanessa Kan (12) “because [seniors] finally won after how many years.”
Peer Education teacher Troy Freitas roused the crowd, bringing students literally to their feet and provided them activities, with the assistance of Student Council students, to release their energy.
“I like it mostly because it’s fun and I’m allowed to scream,” Ariana Gaskins (10) said.
National and state cheerleading champions took to the gymnasium floor silencing the audience with their synchronized stunts and crowd-pleasing routines.
Kelsie Burke (11) said that she enjoyed the cheerleaders’ performances, and Natasha Robinson (10) said the highlight of the assembly was watching them.
2013 Brown Bag’s winner Nicole Villejo (11) also entertained the crowd with a powerful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Listen.”
“It felt good and it was nice to sing in front of the whole school,” Villejo said, but added, “I did better at Brown Bags” because “I messed up so many times.”
New faculty members from administration, library, NJROTC, math, English, science, World Languages, and Resource Departments were also introduced. A neophyte to the classroom but familiar face on the athletic field was introduced at the Welcome Back Assembly.
“I knew that it was coming,” said science teacher Garvin Tsuji, but “it was refreshing to know that I could still be recognized.”
New faculty member and Assistant Principal Richard Shimabukuro said that with his numerous experiences with assemblies, “I believe it went well, everyone was safe, and there were a great many students effectively engaged.”
Jacob Curtis (11) said that he feels that the assembly provides students with the proper introductions to the school. “[Welcome Back Assembly] familiarizes the students with the school.”
“I thought it was nice to see all the kids together in one place. The performers and the presenters were awesome. The shoe relay was a lot of fun to watch,” Fallon Villarreal (10) said. “I can’t wait to see what STUCO has planned for the next assembly.”
Student Activities Coordinator John Goto describes the work made behind the scenes into each assembly.
“The student council committee and I have been working on homecoming assembly since summer, getting in touch with all the different grade levels, NJROTC, emcees, Coach Fred and Coach Lane, admin, volleyball, cheerleading teams, band, security, paddling team, and the homecoming court. We set up the gym the night before, and it takes three hours for the grade levels to complete their section decoration. The grade levels work through the summer and start of school year outside of their leadership class. It takes anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to clean up after every assembly. The best part is working with great people who care,” said Goto.