December 2, 2019
Rutherford County Schools
Newcomers to Smyrna, Blackman, Stewarts Creek and LaVergne high schools gathered for a day of bowling, laser tag and a Thanksgiving meal for 135 students, who have only lived in the United States for less than a year.
For many participating students, this was the first time they had either bowled or played laser tag.
“We were excited to have LHS join us this year,” said Colin Olson, an English second language teacher at Smyrna. “We began the morning at Stars n Strikes.
“Afterwards, the students had their first Thanksgiving lunch all prepared by Chef Villalobos and his culinary arts students. We are very grateful to LifePoint Church and Coach (Justin) Morton, who donated and coordinated the space for the lunch and to (Carrie) Ott and her interior design students who spent the day decorating the banquet hall.”
Smyrna High counselors (Kati) Dickerson, (Gregg) Raffo, (Kendall) Knox and (Jennifer) Maass helped serve the food to the students and a special thanks to our impromptu DJs Giselle Mora-Torres and Pedro Rojas.
“We hope that we continue this tradition in the future,” Olson said, “and we thank (principals) Dr. (Sherri) Southerland, (Dirk) Ash, Dr. (Leisa) Justus and Dr. (Clark) Harrel for their support.
“While the students were eating lunch, (Dimas) Espinoza from Stewarts Creek High School came on the microphone and explained in Spanish that in American culture, Thanksgiving is not just about eating turkey, but about recognizing and giving thanks.”
Olson said the following people made the trip possible: