Scenes From Opening Day

On Monday, August 30, hundreds of Community High School students arrived at the building for the first time in over a year. Gathered in forums, students and staff filled the front lawn for an opening day celebration that included speeches, skits by Community Ensemble Theater and introductions from teachers and clubs. 

CHS seniors Leah van der Velde and Jasmine Lowenstein who started the Speedwalking and Studying Club this year presented their club. They started it after discovering their shared love for speedwalking when they watched videos together on how to speedwalk and walked to the river.

“It wasn’t like either of us planned on starting a club,” van der Velde said. “It just kind of happened and we’ve been wanting to do it since freshman year.”

They said they are “going with the winds” and don’t have a set club structure yet but hope to include some games or study drills. They also want to squash the “rumor” that the club is for simultaneous speedwalking and studying.

In their club, they hope to provide a space for students to make friends. 

“If there’s no club that really excites you, but you want to be a part of something or you want to find new friends if you’re a new student here, or if you’re not, or you just want something that’s kind of chill, it’s not going to be a lot, then I think you’d be right for our club,” van der Velde said. 

The Speedwalking and Studying Club will be meeting Tuesdays during lunch in room 207. Van der Velde and Lowenstein encourage anyone who wants a “group of cool, fun people to hang out with” to join. 

“I think it will be a cool and fun group of people with some good studying, some good speed-walking, and some fun games,” Lowenstein said. 

“Either way you’re gonna learn from it,” van der Velde added.  

“Whether it’s speed walking, whether it’s school, whether it’s just how to be in healthy relationships and be cool,” Lowenstein said. “That’s what you’ll learn.”

CHS Senior Sebastian Oliva, standing in front of the main entrance, gave a speech to the school about lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I see it, we keep thinking a switch will turn the bright lights of normality back on, but with the change brought upon the pandemic, normalcy is unknown,” Oliva said. “Instead, we need to accept that adaptability is our new reality and it will be a continuous process. We need to continue to use what we have learned; continue to be flexible, and apply our strengths to personal and societal change.”

Eliot Klus - CHS Senior Sebastian Olivia speaks to the student body about the lessons learned from the pandemic. Olivia says students have rediscovered how much they need one another through being seperated.

Community High School Freshman Mahala Nguyen, who applied to the lottery after her friends did and was hooked after watching the recruitment video, experienced the traditional first-day worries. 

“I couldn’t really hear anything,” She said. “And I didn’t know where my forum leader was. So I was a little bit stressed.”

But her day improved after meeting her teachers and forum. Nguyen is excited to be at Community, although worried about waking up early.

Eliot Klus - CHS Dean Marci Tuzinsky and Assistant Dean Rebecca Westrate perform a dance to introduce themselves to the student body. This was the first time seeing the deans in-person for about half of the student body.