ALERTS:
Search:
Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > OHS Students Welcome Local Seniors for Annual Event
Print this page

OHS Students Welcome Local Seniors for Annual Event

Seniors are welcomed at the Overland High School 30th Annual Senior Citizen Dinner held Sept. 13.William Vaughn was thinking of his grandmother in Michigan.

Vaughn, a 16-year-old junior at Overland High School, had just made a tour of the school cafeteria, stopping at the tables to chat with some of the guests who were rapidly filling up the room. It was after regular school hours on Sept. 13, and the visitors taking their places at tables to eat their suppers weren't Vaughn's high-school peers.

They were residents from local senior communities, neighbors of the Overland campus who'd come to celebrate one of the school's longest-running traditions. The school's Annual Senior Citizen Dinner drew dozens of guests who'd come to Overland to enjoy good food, compelling entertainment and the company of some of the school's most accomplished students.

Vaughn was one of those students, and early in the evening, his interactions with the seniors from the local community had him meditating on his own personal connections.

"It makes me think about my grandma a lot. It just reminds me of the conversations I have with her," he said, pointing to conversations about pasts and futures, recollections of lives lived and reflections on hopes for the future.  "I've gotten a lot of advice about what to expect. I don't even know where to start sometimes, thinking about where I'm going to college and scholarships.

 

 

"They have a lot of understanding and knowledge about things like that," he added.

Connecting students and seniors has been the mission of the annual Overland event since it launched 30 years ago. For the space of a single meal, residents of different ages from the same community come together to exchange perspectives. For the students, it's a valuable opportunity to glean life lessons from those with plenty of lived experience. For the seniors, it's a chance to reflect on the past and offer gems of wisdom.

This year's gathering featured live musical performances by Seniors 88, a local a capella group, as well as Overland ensembles 9 Mile Jazz and the school's jazz band. With a swinging soundtrack from the stage and a full-course meal on their tables, the guests were treated to a warm welcome. Overland "ambassadors" – students from the school's National Honor Society chapter as well as representatives from its Cheers and Poms groups – greeted arrivals as they got off their buses, led them to their tables, served refreshments and, most importantly, engaged in conversation.Seniors are welcomed at the Overland High School 30th Annual Senior Citizen Dinner held Sept. 13.

"We like to remind our students that they are Overland ambassadors. They are the first thing our guests see as far as what Overland represents, so they make it their mission to leave a positive impression," said Susie Ruiz, activities assistant at the school. "This helps our kids build relationships. They're so used to being around their peers and teachers. This gives them tools to talk to people … and to understand the Overland community."

The dialogues also offered participants a chance to share viewpoints. Roxanne Smith, a resident of the Heather Gardens retirement community in Aurora, chatted with honor roll students about the future – its promise, its uncertainty and its inevitability.

"We've been there," Smith said. "I feel hope for the future after speaking with these students. I'm encouraged, and I feel very welcomed."

Gwen Skillings, another Heather Gardens resident, had simple and direct advice for the students who visited her table.

 "I said, 'Enjoy your year. It really goes fast,'" Skillings said. "That was the main thing."

Posted 9/15/2017 2:24 PM
 

"This helps our kids build relationships. They're so used to being around their peers and teachers. This gives them tools to talk to people … and to understand the Overland community."

- Susie Ruiz, Activities Assistant at Overland High School

Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.