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Bright Academy Students Serve Senior Citizens with Smiles

Dec 13, 2018

Christian Alvaredo with Lani Friedel at Senior LuncheonCarlisles in the Bright Academy LibraryWakelands at Senior LuncheonBilly and Larkin Vandeventer CompeteReading Prior to the LuncheonJaylyn Lawson and Anthony Ruiz with Mooneyhams at Senior LuncheonDiane and Larry Fisher Nutrition Services At Senior LuncheonGuests Chatting in the LibraryBilly and Larkin Vandeventer

The holiday season provides opportunities for traditions both new and old. The annual Frisco ISD Senior Citizen Luncheon provides an opportunity for numerous community members to gather and celebrate both the history and future of the District.

The annual Holiday Luncheon for senior citizens has been hosted in Frisco ISD for almost forty years. This annual event honors seniors for their role in building a tradition of excellence in Frisco ISD.

While last year’s event was at Lebanon Trail High School after a long-standing tradition of being held at Staley Middle School, this year’s event was at Bright Academy.

Bright Academy is the District’s first School of Choice which has implemented Spanish language enrichment, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and Project Lead the Way Launch, a pre-career and technical education program focused on science, technology, engineering and math.

“I have always wanted to host this event,” Bright Academy Principal Serita Dodson said. “I want the students to have an opportunity to interact with the senior citizens in our community.”

As guests arrived, they were escorted from the valet parking by students to the entrance to the library. They were the greeted by a student who took photos via iPad that were immediately projected onto a scrolling slideshow on a nearby television.

“Every child that is helping and participating in the event today had to apply for the position,” Dodson said. “They have been preparing and doing a lot of research on Frisco.”

As guests waited for the formal luncheon, students gathered around and offered to read books and talk about what they are learning at school. Guests waved from across the room and eagerly beckoned old friends to join their groups.

“We enjoy the presentations by the students,” said Larry and Diane Fisher as they paused to pose for a photo. “We love seeing old friends and learning about the District.”

Sandy Carlisle, president of the Frisco Area Retired School Personnel, recounted that as a young teacher at the old Frisco High School, where Staley is now, she used to watch from the sidelines during the Senior Citizens Holiday Luncheon.

“Time flies and now here I am participating,” Carlisle said.

The guests were seated at round tables along with fifth grade students who had received etiquette training and were eager to learn more about their guests and the history of Frisco.

Throughout the room stories were recounted of the different campuses, namesakes and tales of back when Frisco had only one elementary school. The students helped guests play a Frisco trivia game on iPads. The top winner was Sammy Vaughn, school namesake and lifelong resident of Frisco.

“Usually when food is served, the noise level goes down,” said Dr. Mike Waldrip, superintendent of schools. “But the Senior luncheon is quite the exception.”

“This all feels just like old Frisco,” said school namesake Carlos Liscano as he and his wife Yolanda spoke with friends.

Students listened attentively, asked questions and were gracious hosts as they guided the esteemed guests through the events for the lunch including a game about the history of Frisco, music from the choir and a short Spanish presentation.

It was a remarkable event for both those who attended and hosted. Without a doubt, everyone is looking forward to next year.

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