As the cheerleaders, band, and color guard opened the 15-16 Welcome Back Assembly during 8th period on Friday, August 28th, few students realized how much Seniors Christina Tuccillo, Becca Volk and Sadie Filipowski had done to welcome back the student body.
Both the new principal, Mrs. Emily Clare, and her long term substitute, Dr. Griffith, were absent from the assembly. Tuccillo, Volk, and Filipowski also had no faculty sponsors for Student Council to assist with planning the event, as Miss Fox and Ewusiak resigned from co-sponsoring the position over the summer. So while Clare assisted with e-mail guidance for Tuccillo “right up until she was in labor”, joked Christina after the assembly with our reporters, the 15-16 Assembly was almost exclusively the result of the Student Council officers planning and coordinating the event.
        The most anticipated staff introduction was for Keera Dwulit, Clare’s replacement as High School Assistant Principal.  Dwulit, a former Army Parachute Jumper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, before teaching Social Studies at Upper St Clair and working as a Vice Principal at Wilson High School, obtained most of the attention and applause from the students.  Everyone proceeded to laugh and murmur in approvement when she, in her presentation, lightly put it to “make your shorts a little longer and your sleeves a little longer and we’ll be all good.”  She concluded her speech by saying “let’s make this the best year yet” and most nodded in agreement. Her commentary was appreciated by students like junior Quinn Theobald, who “[liked] that she’s not trying to crack the whip first thing”.
         Other introductions included Coleen Barcaskey, a mother of six and is filling the position of our school nurse after Mrs. Butterini’s retirement, and Leslie Berg, who will be taking over the learning support position vacated by Nick Mancini.  Mancini, a staff member for multiple years in the Special Education department at the high school,  was hired to fill the position tragically left open after Mr. Boggess passed away from Leukemia in July. In a lighter moment, Mancini initially refused to accept the traditional gift of a flower in the front of the auditorium before coaxing from fellow staff, particularly Mr. Shriver to “go get the flower.”
The other major speaker of the assembly was Christine Paiano, representing the Central Blood Bank. She gave details of the benefits of giving blood, restrictions on who can give blood, and informed the students of the blood drive on September 30th.  9th grade teacher Breanna Maisner was the unplanned last speaker at the assembly, reminding students where each grade level is required to sit while in the auditorium.
  “I liked that we got out of class; I think that was a big relief, especially since it was the first week of school,” said Theobald about the assembly overall.”I don’t mind meeting the new teachers and being introduced to the staff, but I really don’t think the cheerleading part of it is necessary. I like that the band is there, I don’t think that it’s necessary, but I think it’s a cool little aspect for it. Overall, I’m 50/50 on it.”
Other students, such as freshman Chloe Boothby, were even more harsh in their criticisms. “I think that it was a huge waste of time because I missed my biology class for this assembly and we were all really behind on work.”
Sophomore Isabel Talerico had similar feelings when interviewed. “I thought it was kind of boring and useless. I enjoyed the band, but I really don’t see the point in that happening.”
As spoken from the mouths of Avonworth students, although considered “nice”, this assembly was ultimately underappreciated by those it intended to assist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.