ASHTON — Students at Hannan Junior/Senior High School were welcomed back to school on Tuesday by a red carpet and staff as they departed buses.
For the first time since March 13, 2020, many students were back together in the building at the same time. Since September, blended students have been split into groups and only attended in person two days per week. This week, all blended students returned to the buildings together for four days per week.
Brianne Solomon, art and dance teacher at Hannan, coordinated a red carpet, with velvet ropes and music for the students when they arrived at the school.
“We wanted to make it big,” Solomon said. “We wanted to make it great and tell them how happy we were [to see the students.]”
Inside the building, Solomon wrote the names and graduation year for all the students in calligraphy. For the seniors, the staff wrote an extra note, such as “we’ve been missing you,” or “thank you for your hard work.”
Solomon said she wanted the students to know they “all are the real stars of our school.”
The theme of the welcome-back event was Hollywood, with a photo booth for students when they entered into the building.
“I think that it made a difference,” Solomon said. “Our principal said ‘I haven’t seen that many kids smile.’ Not that we can tell when all of them smile because of the masks. We haven’t seen that in a long time and these kids have been through so much.”
Solomon said many students said how they felt excited, nervous or not sure what to think of returning to the buildings with almost a full group.
“There’s so many things they can’t do and so many ways we can’t reward them anymore,” Solomon said. “For us to make that big of a deal as a staff let’s them be reminded how much we love them and I think it really boosted the morale.”
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.