Kendra Baker photos
At least 60 senior citizens gathered inside Wilton High School’s Zellner Gallery on Thursday, April 2, for the fifth annual Senior Appreciation Day, where they were honored and thanked for their contributions to the Wilton community.
Artwork from the International Art Show earlier in the week adorned the walls of the gallery for seniors to view as they enjoyed food provided by the high school’s culinary arts department.
A student jazz quartet entertained with tunes from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s as seniors ate and socialized.
“The goal here is to get together and enjoy some food and to honor and thank you for all you’ve done for our town,” Chip Gawle, Wilton High School band director and Senior Appreciation Day host, told the seniors.
“It’s important for students to honor our elders because you are our role models. You’ve done such wonderful things for our town.”
Wilton High School senior Cooper Pellaton, president of student body government, expressed his gratitude for Wilton’s senior citizens.
“I’m very grateful that I was able to come here today and speak with many of you and learn the history of the people who have been on the PTSA boards, have had children in Boy Scouts, who had family members who were coaches, and who had a place in town,” he said.
“I feel like a lot of the things that we do — it’s easy to get caught up and self-absorbed and [not] realize the people that came before us. With that being said, I’m very grateful that I got to hear some stories today that I otherwise would not have.”
Principal Robert O’Donnell said Senior Appreciation Day is “certainly one of the highlights of our year” and something he “very much” looks forward to.
“I’ve gotten to know some of you over the years and I just feel like I’m coming back and I’m saying hello to my friends at this point,” he said.
O’Donnell said he enjoys talking to the seniors and hearing stories about their involvement in the town and school community.
“We appreciate the valuable contributions you continue to make to this community — both in the school community and the local community,” he told the seniors.
“One of the things that I always emphasize is that this is the students’ school and this is also your school — you are all Wilton Warriors. Thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.”
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith thanked the seniors for supporting Wilton’s youth.
“None of us got to where we are without the loving support of family and community,” said Smith, “and in my mind, this is what this event signifies.”
On behalf of Wilton’s youngest population, Smith thanked the seniors for their active and supportive presence.
“Our students couldn’t do what they do, they wouldn’t have what they have if you didn’t participate so vibrantly in the community,” said Smith. “I want to thank you for the gifts that you have bestowed upon them and continue to bestow upon them.”
After the luncheon in the Zellner Gallery, the seniors gathered in the Clune Center for a recognition concert featuring the Wilton High School Symphonic Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.