Wayland athletes and cheer team welcome students to Central Elementary Open House

PLAINVIEW – Open House at the newly constructed Central Elementary School looked like a pep rally Thursday night as Wayland Baptist University athletes and cheerleaders welcomed students and their parents.

With Pioneer Pete, the Wayland mascot, greeting them at the front door, students and their parents were ushered inside, where a welcome gauntlet began with Wayland team members and continued down the foyer with university athletes.

Reactions varied from little ones, who were a little startled at first, to students and parents who got into the mood with high-fives, fist pumps and bumps, and cheers. Some of those who attended showed their dance moves as they joined the Wayland entourage moving to the music playing in the foyer.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here,” said Celeste Lozano, a junior on the cheer team. “It was very fun, and the thing I got out of this tonight is that we are very blessed to be here.”

The pep rally-style event grew out of a Don A. Williams School of Education initiative. Casandra Holloway, administrative assistant and certification officer, sent informational gift baskets recently to Plainview Independent School District principals, including Central Elementary School Principal Sarah Williams, a Wayland alumna. That prompted a discussion about getting Wayland involved in the open house. Holloway contacted Athletic Director Jim Giacomazzi, who worked with coaches to put all together.

“It was really fun out there,” Holloway said. “We have students working in these schools, so this was a way to bring Wayland and this new school together.”