EAST HANOVER, N.J. - On December 22, 2017, just as winter break was about to begin, students at Frank J. Smith Elementary, Central Elementary, and East Hanover Middle School got a visit from Santa, who arrived in a fire truck. While at Frank J, he joined the annual sing-along.
About three or four years ago, Mr. Vinny Ucci (a member of the East Hanover Board of Education) started going around to the schools dressed as Santa. However, this year Mr. Anthony Barisciano (who is also a member of the Board of Education and a firefighter for East Hanover) decided to do something different. With help from Superintendent, Mrs. Natalee Bartlett, they “stepped it up a notch” and drove Santa to each school in a fire truck.
This year was their “first time doing this” and according to Barisciano, Ucci, and Bartlett, “It was a success.”
At the middle school, while they stood outside waiting for him to arrive, the students started singing “Jingle Bells”. Then, as Barisciano and Ucci (dressed as Santa) drove up to the middle school, they started screaming, jumping around, and waving as if they were at a concert. Everyone was commenting, “You would’ve thought he was a rock star.”
Mrs. Bartlett noticed one student showing off this t-shirt to Santa, as it looked like his suit, screaming, “Look at me, Santa! I’m dressed like you!”
As they headed over to FJS the kids didn’t meet them outside. Instead, Mr. Ucci waited until Santa’s song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, to greet the kids. Once again, the kids yelled and shook hands with him.
But before he made his appearance, the kids did their annual Christmas sing-a-long, lead by music teacher, Mr. Randy Raab. They sang classics like “Jingle Bells”, “Frosty the Snowman”, and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. At one point, they sang “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” and after singing it once, the kids screamed, “Faster!”
Mr. Raab made the beat a little faster. After singing it a second time, the kids screamed again, “Faster!”
Mr. Raab went so fast the kids could barely sing along, but they were smiling and laughing as he yelled out “I beat you” after finishing the song.
As the sing-a-long concluded, Santa said to the kids, “You guys are amazing.”
Principal, Ms. Kerry Quinn, ended the festivities by telling her students, "Have a great long, break. We'll see you in 2018."