Perhaps never before has the library inside Johnston High School hosted such a unique event as it did last Thursday during lunch period.
Round tables were covered in Columbia blue and white linen cloths, as well as glass centerpieces – each featuring two carnations – that were also done in the school’s official colors.
“This is the highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week,” said Greg Russo, chairman of the school’s science department and adviser to the Student Council. “Look at this; these kids have really gone all out and prepared quite the feast.”
That was perhaps an understatement, as the Student Council members collectively cooked up what Russo called a “fantastic food fest” that had so many luncheon offerings it took three long folding banquet tables to set out all the homemade dishes.
“Just look at that great buffet line,” Russo said, as 15 Student Council members worked as servers. “Even our [Students Against Dangerous Decision, or SADD, group] provided iced tea, water and fruit waters.”
The assortment included baked ziti, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, empanadas, taquitos, antipasto, garden salad, potato salad, pasta salad, string bean salad, pizza, eggplant parmigiana, peppers and sausage and many more munchies. Student Council members prepared the entire feast.
“This was one of the more memorable events that make Johnston High School a special place,” Russo said. “It’s a special place that celebrates its teachers and comes together as a family.”
The Student Council also celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with various activities. Each class contributed in its own way to make the week memorable for all the school’s teachers.
In addition, several groups – such as the band, chemistry club, football and basketball cheerleaders, mock trial team, yearbook committee, web club, Academic Decathlon team and National Honor Society – all participated in various events.
“Teachers were treated to chocolate-covered Oreos, pizza, brownies, bags of potato chips, fresh fruit, assorted candy, pencils and free yearbooks, as well as delicious egg rolls,” Russo said. “Each day featured a particular group or class and their gifts to the teachers, and the administration gave out lanyards.”
The Student Council also chose to recognize one teacher that has contributed in ways above and beyond the classroom and has taught at Johnston High for at least 15 years.
This year’s standout was Louis DiMaio, a history teacher who has served as a class advisor to three different classes and is the current indoor and outdoor track coach.
“Lou was a bit overwhelmed and surprised,” Russo said while congratulating DiMaio after the Student Council presented him with a Johnston High School athletic jacket that had his name embroidered around the school’s panther mascot.