Each year, dozens of BVT students return to school a few days early to volunteer at the Freshmen and New Student Barbecue. Seen here selling BVT t-shirts and merchandise as part of a class fundraiser are (left to right) Dental Assisting junior Alexandra Kazarian of Sutton, Culinary Arts junior Samuel O’Connor of Mendon, Cosmetology junior Alexandra Killeen of Upton, Drafting and Engineering Technology junior Skyler Colwell of Upton, and Information Technology junior Addison Baker of Sutton.
Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire, and sometimes burgers and hot dogs to go with it.
Such was the case at Blackstone Valley Tech on Thursday, August 13, when incoming students and their families joined BVT staff and returning students for a Freshmen & New Student Barbecue. The popular annual event provides students and families the chance to get to know their new school and one another in a stress-free environment. Gathered on Valley Tech’s front lawn with hundreds of other parents and guardians, Neil and Colleen Thomas of Milford said that their son, Cameron, is a junior in the Culinary Arts department and will soon be joined by his younger brother, Trevor, who is among 310 incoming freshmen.
“We’re blown away by the school,” Neil Thomas commented. “The students want to be here and the teachers want to be here. It’s a great atmosphere. We’re really looking forward to having both boys here.”
Although their summer vacation was quickly winding down, many BVT sophomores, juniors, and seniors spent the afternoon at the annual cookout and drew on their own experiences to provide helpful tips to incoming students and parents. Dental Assisting senior Chanell DaSilva of Grafton took the opportunity to let new students know about her program’s affordable customized mouth guards.
“A lot of students don’t know about the mouth guard program, so we wanted to get the word out,” DaSilva explained.
During an informational session later in the evening, Assistant Principal Edward Evans told new students and families that the student body’s willingness to lend a helping hand extends far beyond the annual cookout.
“You are entering a school culture in which students help students,” Evans said. “That is a simple yet profound part of what makes Valley Tech special.”
Following the annual barbecue, freshmen and new students returned to BVT for orientation on Friday, August 15. The first day of school for all grades took place on Monday, August 17. Since 1997, BVT has voluntarily operated under an extended school year calendar of 193 teaching-days.