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OCHS Starts School Year With Pep Rally, Primary and Intermediate Schools Begin

first_imgNaya Gilchrist, 15, of Ocean City, shows her excitement to start the new school year at Ocean City High School where the day began with music and school spirit. By Maddy VitaleThe staff at the Ocean City School District is behind the students – 100 percent.And they made that known with a pep rally in front of the high school as some of the 1,275 students poured into a festive entrance, where Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor and High School Principal Matt Jamison greeted them with handshakes, waves and even pom-poms.Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor, teacher Kelly Halliday and High School Principal Matt Jamison give the students a warm welcome.Students also began classes in the Primary School and Intermediate School on Thursday.The day before classes, students in the Primary School and their parents had a chance to meet the teachers and other school staff, new friends and got to see their classrooms, all ways to help them acclimate before the big day, school officials explained.For a first day at the high school, the mood was anything but routine. Students strolled in with the school band playing in the background. Inside, teachers lined the hallways and spoke with each other and students. The staff members wore Red Raiders T-shirts with “100%” emblazoned on the back – the theme of the district for the new school year. “We want to show that we are there for our students – 100 percent,” Jamison said at the school entrance amid the bustle of students and staff. “We wanted to change the perception of the first day, as the dreaded first day of school, and make it an opening day.”A large banner was draped across the back wall of a staircase at the entrance to welcome students.Students got a huge welcome back to school.“The theme of being behind the kids 100 percent, is to show students that, although we are based on academics and athletics, we are also centered on emotional and social wellness,” Jamison said. Upper classmen handed out maps to freshmen and signage throughout the hallways welcomed the Class of 2022 and the other classes. Music filled the school, helping to set an upbeat and lively mood to start the new year. The hallway bustles with students on the first day of school.There was even a raffle where you would get tickets to various sports events if you guessed how many “Howies,” – the Red Raider mascot, were in a bin at the front of the school.Naya Gilchrist, 15, a sophomore from Ocean City, was already in a good mood before she set out for her first day of school Thursday morning.She said there are so many things she likes about Ocean City High School it is hard to say what she likes best.“I’m very excited to start sophomore year,” Gilchrist said. “It’s a great school. The athletics and academics are great. I love it here.”Students enter class and are greeted by the administration, their teachers, coaches and fellow students.The superintendent said the goal of the district is to offer an environment with a complete experience, which includes academics, athletics, health and wellness.“It is all about social and emotional support and providing a caring environment for our students,” Taylor said. “We love our kids and want them to feel that connection.”Jaden Millstein, 17, of Margate, is going to be a junior this year. He said he was happy to be starting the new year. He stopped to speak with Jill Berenato, the school’s student assistance counselor and nurse. Jill Berenato, the high school nurse and student assistance counselor, chats with junior, Jaden Millstein, 17, of Margate.“I love Jill. She’s great and I love this school,” said Millstein, who has attended Ocean City High School since he was a freshman.Students stopped to ask Berenato all types of things. One student asked her if he needed a hall pass.“Not today,” she said with a smile, then telling him to have a good day.Berenato said she is really pleased with the direction the district is going in offering a full experience for the students.“This year, we are concentrating on the overall health and wellness of the student, not only in the district, but in the community,” she noted. “I am really pleased.”The band and staff at Ocean City High School get ready for students to enter the school at the start of the school year Thursday.Ocean City Primary School had a meet and greet with families and school staff the day before school began. (Photo Ben Hale, JASM Consulting)last_img


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