Oakcrest High School rolls out first Welcome Wagon

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Charlie Pritchard / Superintendent John Keenan along with Principal Dan Money, Student Council President Maren Ross, Senior Class President Mariah Matthews and the Oakcrest High School Falcon deliver pizzas to incoming freshman Spencer Monhollen. Charlie Pritchard / Superintendent John Keenan along with Principal Dan Money, Student Council President Maren Ross, Senior Class President Mariah Matthews and the Oakcrest High School Falcon deliver pizzas to incoming freshman Spencer Monhollen. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Five incoming Oakcrest High School freshmen each received a delivery of pizza on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 5. That is certainly not an unusual happening. However, the method of the delivery was quite unique.

The pizzas, along with a supply of Jack and Jill ice-cream sandwiches, were only a small part of the first Oakcrest High School Welcome Wagon. Actually, the wagon was a convoy of a Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company truck, three school buses, the Jack and Jill truck, a Hamilton Township police vehicle and many cars.

Riding along in the vehicles were school administrators, faculty and Oakcrest upperclassmen, including the cheerleading squad and the band drum line. Many parents followed in their vehicles.

The contingent first stopped at the Laureldale home of Spencer Monhollen. As the group marched up the long driveway to his home, Spencer, along with his family, stood amazed at the spectacle. Superintendent John Keenan then delivered a pizza as Principal Dan Money implored the students to welcome Spencer to Oakcrest.

A similar scene occurred at the Chancellor Place home of Taylor and Alexa Domino. They, along with a small group of their fellow incoming freshmen friends, rushed outside their home once they heard the blaring of sirens and horns. They were greeted by Student Council President Maren Ross and Senior Class President Mariah Matthews, who gave each of them a welcome basket of goodies.

The next stop on the tour was the Victoria’s Crossing residence of Natasha Cooper. The entire neighborhood came out en force to observe the ceremony with Natasha and her family. She felt right at home as she was surrounded by a group of Falcon cheerleaders.

Charlie Pritchard / Natasha Cooper is warmly welcomed by the OakcrestHigh School cheerleaders in front of her home in Victoria Crossing. Charlie Pritchard / Natasha Cooper is warmly welcomed by the OakcrestHigh School cheerleaders in front of her home in Victoria Crossing. The final stop was in Oakcrest Estates where they found Falamata Ali waiting for them in front of his home. He was also welcomed by the entourage as his neighborhood friends were delightedly surprised when also offered slices of the pizza delivered to Falamata’s family.

Not quite ready to return to the nearby school, the group took part in the National Night Out event in the development.

Joe Costal, the school’s supervisor of language arts, was a driving force behind the project.

“A student’s freshman year sets the tone for his high school career,” Costal said. “If a student is written up as a freshman, he or she is 80 percent likely to be written up again during the four years. We want to make the freshmen feel welcome and motivated to succeed.”

Costal said that a number of events are planned for the first week of school for freshmen including a challenge day and activity carnival. He added that a freshman-themed curriculum in language arts has been developed.

Money was jubilant with the results of the event.

“These kids gave up a night in the summer to welcome our new freshmen,” he said. “This is something that they, and those they welcomed, will never forget.”

Charlie Pritchard / New freshmen Alexa and Taylor Domino pose with the Oakcrest High School Falcon in front of the cheerleading team. Charlie Pritchard / New freshmen Alexa and Taylor Domino pose with the Oakcrest High School Falcon in front of the cheerleading team.

Charlie Pritchard / Falamata Ali receives ice-cream sandwiches from Oakcrest High School Supervisor of Language Arts Joe Costal as Hamilton Township Deputy Mayor and Oakcrest graduate Amy Gatto joins in. Charlie Pritchard / Falamata Ali receives ice-cream sandwiches from Oakcrest High School Supervisor of Language Arts Joe Costal as Hamilton Township Deputy Mayor and Oakcrest graduate Amy Gatto joins in.

Julie Hazard / A group of OakcrestHigh School students, faculty and administrators prepares to leave the school to begin the tour. Julie Hazard / A group of OakcrestHigh School students, faculty and administrators prepares to leave the school to begin the tour.

 


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