Back-To-School Cool

DALLAS – As the principal of Dallas Skyline High School, Dr. Janice Lombardi is all about tone-setting for her thousands of students. Especially the tone that’s set on the first day of school.

And for Dr. Lombardi and the approximately 5,000 students who recently started the 2017-18 school year at Skyline, no tone was better set than the opening-day gifts they received from the Dallas Mavericks.

While the students were filing into the various buildings to officially start this school year, the Mavs Dancers, ManiAACs, Champ and MavsMan handed them school supplies, including a notebook, pencil and a voucher to attend one of the team’s games this upcoming season.

Needless to say, Dr. Lombardi was elated.

“The students are so super excited because we don’t often get something of this caliber at our school,” Dr. Lombardi said. “So this is a big huge celebration for us and it really is going to open a great school year for us. It definitely sets the tone.”

“This is an exciting opening of school, particularly because we love basketball at Skyline and we’re just so excited to have the Dallas Mavericks, who are just like the pinnacle of everything here in Dallas.”

Earlier on opening day at another Dallas Independent School District school, the Mavs ManiAACs and Dancers and team personnel greeted students at Frank Guzick Elementary. They showered them with the same school supplies – plus a voucher to attend to a Mavs game this season – that they handed to the Skyline High School students.

Dr. Adreana Davis, the principal at Frank Guzick Elementary, was appreciative to the Mavs for thinking of her 700 students during a time when some parents are facing a financial crunch.

“We are beyond excited,” Dr. Davis said. “It’s always great to have our community partners come out and really bless our school, and we’re fortunate to have the Mavericks join in and really provide our kids with something that they need in order for them to be successful, and that’s always school supplies.”

The Mavs aren’t just supplying school supplies and game vouchers to students at Skyline High School and Frank Guzick Elementary. Every Dallas ISD student – over 158,000 of them – will be given notebooks, pencils and other schools supplies. And a voucher to attend an upcoming Mavs game.

Jessica Ferguson, whose daughter is a first-grader at Frank Guzick Elementary, championed the care package handed to them by the Mavs. “It was so awesome for my daughter to have this experience,” said Ferguson, who is not a Dallas native. “We’re not from here and we don’t have anything like this where I’m from, so it’s amazing.”

“I’m from Oklahoma. This is a big deal, so I thank you guys.”

It’s also a huge deal for Louis Thomas, a senior who helped Skyline to a 34-2 record and a berth in last season’s Class 6A state semifinals, where they lost a three-overtime thriller to Cypress Falls.

“This is a big honor,” Thomas said. “It makes us want to get back to ourselves and get back to state, and this time maybe win.”

The school supplies were pieced together by a company name Elevate. Jeff Sampson, the founder and president of Elevate, said he appreciates the Mavs involving him in this venture.

“We got the word that the Mavs needed these done, so we rushed them through the factory,” Sampson said. “Anything the Mavs can do to support the community and the city of Dallas is fantastic and we’re happy to be a part of it, too. The Mavs were gracious enough to let us join in and enjoy the whole event, so this is really, really rewarding.”

As her students were handed supplies by the Mavs contingent upon arrival to school, Dr. Davis kept smiling and was thankful the Mavs brought her students so much joy on the first day of school.

“We are glad that our kids and our families are blessed with such a great donation from (Mavs owner) Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks,” Dr. Davis said. “When I say that we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this great venture that the Mavericks are having this school year, and then for the entire Dallas Independent School District, we were just excited to be the first ones here on the first day of school.”