The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Carlmont teachers celebrate an early Thanksgiving with students

Jaime Abdilla
BTI students serve themselves a variety of pies during the much-beloved annual Pie Feast. “Lots of students bring in pies,” Abdilla said. “They can be store bought, homemade, whatever you want.”

While Carlmont students eagerly awaited Thanksgiving break, some teachers began the holiday festivities early by integrating all sorts of Turkey Day events into otherwise regular classes.

The teachers behind the events hoped not only to teach students about the history of Thanksgiving but also to help students recognize their gratitude for the people and things in their lives.

Carlmont’s Biotechnology Institute (BTI) ran one of the biggest on-campus Thanksgiving celebrations. Students and teachers brought pies, food, and drinks to celebrate and eat together. The tradition, aptly named Pie Feast, was held on Friday, Nov. 17.

“We really think of BTI as a family. And one of the things that you do during Thanksgiving is celebrate with your family,” said Jaime Abdilla, one of the BTI program’s co-directors. “We probably have 40 pies and a bunch of whipped cream and apple cider, and everyone feels great.”

Abdilla and her co-director, Susan Gold, were in charge of organizing the event. Abdilla describes the event as running smoothly due to BTI’s closeness between students and teachers.

“We encourage all students to contribute something, but it’s not mandatory. And then BTI purchases around eight pies to get everything started, plus all the whipped cream,” Abdilla said. “So we don’t have a traditional signup. After your sophomore year, you know what to expect.”

Abdilla and Gold started the Pie Feast tradition to bring BTI students closer together.

“We had a vision of having a monthly social event where we could pull all the grades together. So for Halloween, we have a slime party. And then Thanksgiving, there’s a pie feast,” Abdilla said. “It was just this random idea we had like, ‘Oh, how fun would it be if we just all ate pies for lunch?’ My favorite part is watching everyone have so much fun.”

While BTI’s Pie Feast focused on celebration, other teachers involved Thanksgiving in classes in a more academic manner. Marcello DiCicco’s world history class did a writing assignment that prompted them to research the history of Thanksgiving and reflect on what they were grateful for.

“Mr. DiCicco gave us 10 prompts to choose from. And then we had to choose 5 of the 10 prompts to answer,” said Carlmont sophomore Leah Clements, a student in DiCicco’s world history class. “One of the prompts was listing things you were thankful for. Another was the differences between Thanksgiving now and in the past. There were a couple of fun ones too, like one about turkeys and helping them escape Thanksgiving dinner.”

The assignment helped students learn more about the history of Thanksgiving, express gratitude, and sharpen their writing skills.

“I learned more about the differences between our Thanksgiving today and the ones of the past, as well as the real reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving,” Clements said. “I appreciated that he gave us a Thanksgiving assignment to get us excited for the holidays.”

DiCicco was not the only teacher who created Thanksgiving-themed assignments. Ramtin Aidi, a Carlmont AVID teacher, assigned a gratitude activity he was particularly fond of.

“The activity is for students to take an imprint of their hand and fingers and turn it into an artistic turkey. On each finger, they say one thing they are grateful for and present that to someone in their lives. It could be a teacher or a parent figure at home,” Aidi said.

Aidi’s AVID class teaches students to develop note-taking skills, cognitive thinking, and time management habits. However, he enjoys giving fun activities such as the turkey hand to spread joy campus-wide.

“I think the activity helps students reflect on what they appreciate about the individuals in their lives. It makes adults feel happy,” Aidi said.

Despite the turkey note being a seemingly small act, parents and teachers strongly feel the impact.

“Now and then, teachers come across a gem of a turkey that was awarded to them, where it just tugs at the heartstrings,” Aidi said. “It makes teachers feel like their time in this profession is worthwhile.”

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About the Contributor
Ayana Ganjoo, Staff Writer
Ayana Ganjoo (class of 2026) is a staff writer and a sophomore at Carlmont. She is excited to begin covering campus news this year and learning more about the greater Carlmont community. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, ballet, and listening to music.

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