GLENDALE -- Students returning for the new school year at Nicolet High School, in Glendale, were greeted like celebrities Tuesday morning.
Administrators, faculty and staff rolled out a red carpet for the students to walk on. While they made the trek down the carpet and into the school hallways, a band serenaded them and school staff enthusiastically cheered them on.
"It's just a festive way to start the school year," said Robert Kobylski, Superintendent of the Nicolet Union High School District.
He said the tradition, which dates back to 2008, is meant to alleviate some of the stress students feel on the first day of a new school year.
Kobylski said the red carpet ritual also has symbolic meaning - showing the school's 1,151 students that the district's employees will all be cheering them on as they further their education.
"We want them to know we're behind them all along the way," Kobylski said.
Senior Sarah Fleming said she's grown used to the red carpet rollout on the first day of school during the last four years.
"It definitely gives our school a different type of tradition to look forward to," she said.
Fleming added she likes seeing favorite teachers from previous years lined up to greet her.
"You get to see people you feel comfortable with, and I think that's really nice," Fleming said, "especially when you're going into the new school year and having some uncertainty."
Freshman Madison Sims walked the red carpet for the first time Tuesday.
"I'm really excited to be here," Sims said. "I've always wanted to go to Nicolet."
Sims' mother and grandmother watched as she walked into the school's main entrance for her first day. The freshman said she enjoyed soaking in the high school atmosphere.
"I think the red carpet makes you a little anxious," Sims said. "It makes you really excited too."