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Class of '33 gets school pride T-shirts

Continuing a Henderson County Public Schools tradition, kindergarteners across the district – in classrooms and from their work stations at home – were surprised with their “Class of 2033” T-shirts last week.


Local businesses partner with the school system each year to welcome kindergarteners to their first year of formal education with this special gift, which has their unique “Class Of” date that starts conversations about college- and career- readiness at a young age. Since the schools began the 2020-21 school year fully remote due to Covid-19, there wasn't an opportunity to have the annual kindergarten T-shirt distribution as part of the back-to-school season.

But thanks to the generosity of local community partners, some creative thinking, and enthusiastic elementary principals and teachers, this year's kindergarteners aren’t missing out on what's become a well-loved tradition in the HCPS Family.

This year with the help of the Henderson County Education Foundation, sponsors Champion Comfort Experts, Hendersonville Family Dental, Blue Ridge Orthodontics, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office STAR Program and NC Printing made it possible for kindergarten students to receive “Class of 2033” shirts before they break for the holidays.

The district coordinated with schools to mail shirts to the guardians of remote learners, who “unwrapped” their shirts with their peers during special Google Classroom video meetings with their teachers and classmates.

Though COVID-19 visitor limitations meant employee representatives from the sponsor companies couldn’t help distribute the shirts in schools this year, they joined Ms. Robin Frisch’s kindergarten class at Hillandale Elementary through the magic of technology and witnessed the joy the shirts brought to students and staff alike.

“We are so thankful to these local business partners who ensured that the Kindergarten T-shirt tradition lived on, in a year where our kindergarteners and their families already had to sacrifice so many traditional first- year-of-school experiences,” school system Public Information Officer Molly McGowan Gorsuch said.

Each child across the district received the same shirt – regardless of which middle and high schools they eventually attend – to build community among the students, as well as the parents and community members who will see the neon yellow shirts around town.