The student body received quite a surprise when Joe Mokrisky, chairman of the annual , took the mic at their 4th and 5th grade holiday concert Thursday morning.
Mokrisky, with the help of parade co-coordinator Carlene Walsh, shared the exciting news that the school’s float won first prize in Stoughton’s recent Christmas Parade.
Special guest, Paul Shastany’s presence evoked loud cheers as their Principal, Faye Polillio, accepted the trophy on the behalf of the school’s P.T.O.
The parade, which took place on Sunday, Dec. 11, two weeks before Christmas, featured a number of floats and other participants.
The Hansen School will break into “,” grouping students of all ages with various staff members, encouraging cross-grade level relationships. This year’s “communities” theme is the “Year of the Environment.” Fittingly, the Hansen float played on this theme with the float promoting the environment, “going green,” recycling and bike riding.
The float itself included compost bins and rain barrels. A pack of students followed behind the float riding their bikes.
“The float had an amazing amount of participation," Mokrisky said. “Many people commented on the number of kids both on the float itself and the bike riders behind it”, he added.
Cheryl Rodrigues, the parent whose creative vision and hard work led to the school’s achievement, said that her favorite aspect of the float was the incorporation of the students’ handprints.
The handprint project was done at one of the Hansen’s monthly “Communities” meetings.
“The theme of the communities is the ‘year of the environment,’ so the handprints were done in the students community color” and then incorporated into aspects of the float, such as the sun and rain cloud,” Rodrigues explained.
Rodrigues expressed thanks to the many people who contributed to the floats success, especially Kathy Billo, Lisa Warshafsky, Patti Wilson, Leo Rodrigues, Maria Loffredo, and Andy Kellogg for driving the truck, and all the families who participated in the parade itself. Many kids were on the float or riding using their “pedal power” behind the float.
She also thanked John Batchelder, the superintendent of Stoughton’s Public Works department for his support.
“He was extremely helpful,” she said. “He and his department lent us signs and many recycling bins. They also put us in touch with James Conlon [an Environmental Affairs Officer for the town’s Engineering Department] who partnered with the conservation committee to generously donate the school both a rain barrel and compost bin!”
Chief Shastany attended the award presentation to show his support for the students.
“It is important. Children are the future and their efforts need to be recognized. We have kids, and we want to support kids,” he said. “We do not want to be seen as a negative authority figure but rather as [someone who offers] benevolent support for the entire community.”
Since the trophy is passed from winner to winner each year, Mokrisky ended his presentation by encouraging the kids to “start planning next year’s float now to keep the trophy!”
Check out the photo gallery for both pictures of Thursday’s presentation as well as several shots of the float itself.
Compost bins and rain barrels are available for purchase by contacting James Conlon at 781-341-1300 ext. 9262 or Barbara Greenwood at 781-341-1300 ext. 9261. Compost Bins are $30 and the Skyjuice Rain Barrels, with brass fittings, are $75.