SMYRNA -- While each teaching facility is bound to have their own family and friends within its halls, the annual I Love Smyrna School District Day worked to bring all eight Smyrna School District institutions together under one roof.
As about 7,000 people filtered in and out of the doors of Smyrna High School, the Smyrna School District created more connections within their community for the 18th consecutive year.
On February 27, the residents of Smyrna and its surrounding areas joined together to celebrate the annual I Love Smyrna School District day.
Created by Deborah Wicks when she took office as Superintendent of the Smyrna School District, the day is designed to recognize both a community and a school district.
“It’s a big celebration of the support and what we have, and it allows the community to talk to each other” said Mrs. Wicks.
The event was designed to focus on the Smyrna students and the community.
During the day, the school district took a moment to honor those students who truly characterized the value of the year, respect.
“All students [in the school district] write about the value of respect, and then the top three are awarded during the day. There are also role models of respect who are honored at that same time,” said Mrs. Wicks.
The aim is to instill and encourage good values in the students.
The commitment of the students was also honored, as student artwork and musicality were on display. Elementary and middle school bands and choruses took to the spotlight to proudly demonstrate their talent and dedication to their parents and the school district.
“There are 10-minute mini-concerts,” said Mrs. Wicks, explaining that every ten minutes, a new group of students were welcomed to the stage. “Everyone comes to see their children perform and then they go through the tables that are set up.”
Over 180 booths packed both the old and new gymnasiums as well as the cafeteria, featuring a wide variety of school organizations, community clubs and local businesses.
“It’s always been about community and this day allows the interaction between the groups,” said Kevin Wilson, public information officer for the Clayton Fire Company.
Attendees could also find tables offering face painting, food or services, such as free eye exams to children from the Smyrna Lions Club.
Other tables offered connections and opportunities to their visitors. For those nearing graduation, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College were available for questions and guidance.
“We have 184 tables, and those tables include just about every service organization in the Smyrna, Clayton and Kent community, and also many businesses in the school district,” said Mrs. Wicks.
Many other tables were worked by students themselves, displaying their passions and involvement in their school. “It’s nice to see what everyone else in the other schools are doing,” said Jackson Reynolds, a Smyrna Middle School eight grader.
Parents and alumni added to the sense of community that the event was designed to encourage.
“I think it shows off the classes and the different types of education and the people in the community,” said Mary Ann Varanko, a 1955 graduate working the alumni booth. “ really brings people out to see the school who otherwise wouldn’t get to.”
Erica Dennis, a member of the Sunnyside Elementary School PTO shared in Ms. Varanko’s sentiments.
“It’s a great opportunity to come out and see what the rest of the community is up to,” said Ms. Dennis. “I think it’s a really wonderful event.”