While most students arrive at Redwood around the start of first period at 8:30 a.m., some get to campus earlier, whether it be for academics or athletics. Participation in these activities takes commitment, but from teachers to students and coaches to athletes, all have come to find the benefits of being on campus early.
One morning class offered is Leadership, run by Dave Plescia and Melissa Boles. The class is made up of students from all grade levels who come together to promote and lead school activities and projects. Plescia has spent his time leading the class by building a more diverse leadership community through bringing in more students from all grade levels and walks of life. Associated Student Body (ASB) president, Gavin Green, uses his position as an opportunity to create a more welcoming atmosphere at Redwood through school events. Plescia noted that by having Leadership as a zero period, it allows other students to attend ASB meetings on Thursday mornings to ask for scholarships, petition for clubs and more.
Aside from academics, sports like cross country also utilize the early mornings. Coached by Nicole Graydon, cross country is co-ed and one of few Redwood sports with a no-cut policy. According to Graydon, it is important for the runners to set goals for themselves and then work towards those goals over the course of the season. One of the team captains, Helena Janku, believes that to meet those goals, it’s essential for teammates to support each other along the way. Janku mentioned that the team has made the best of the morning practices by coming together to do activities like theme days, where everyone comes wearing pajamas or a swimsuit, among other things.
“I always just tell them, you make things as miserable as you want them to be, and they’ve made mornings fun,” said Graydon.