On Monday, students, faculty and school board members kicked off the 2014-15 school year with a back-to-school bash. The festivities started at 6 p.m. with a welcome from emcee, Oak Hill Principal Georgia White.

Dr. George Noflin then took to the stage to highlight several important achievements for the school system during the past year, such as Morehouse Magnet becoming a national Blue Ribbon School, the JAG and LA Gear Up programs at BHS being recognized nationally and the reading of 35,800 books by district students for the literacy competition.

He also mentioned the changes that took place, such as the closing of Southside, the changing of job descriptions and the school board's reductions in force, but he emphasized the positive, which is in keeping with the theme for the new year, "Soaring to New Heights."

Keynote speaker for the evening was Reverend R.V. Brown, chaplain for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and an associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

During his speech, Brown employed audience participation to illustrate the need for parents and the community to support students and educational efforts.

"The community has got to come together to make this work," Brown said.

Other highlights during the back-to-school bash included the presentation of colors by the BHS JROTC, the performance of the national anthem by the BHS band and the singing of a patriotic medley by Rev. John Griffin. Teacher's of the year for the 2013 to 2014 school year received plaques and the BHS Cheerleaders and Drill Team staged performances.