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‘Back to School Fest’ throws out the ‘Welcome Back!’ mat for Malden Public Schools students and families

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First-time event is a big success, draws over 1,000; hosted by Malden High Classes of 2024 & 2025, plus the City of Malden


By Steve Freker


It has become a quite common recipe for success in our city, when it comes to event planning and those who are seeking to raise funds for a worthy cause. It goes something like this: Some of our young people get together with adult mentors and come up with a great idea. They hash it out, present it to city leaders for approval and go on to help create a bunch of lasting memories for lots of others around our community.

Well, that did it again on Wednesday, September 6, with a first-ever Malden Public Schools districtwide “Back to School Fest.” Held on the Malden High School campus, the event was a huge success, drawing students of all ages. Close to 1,000 attendees, including parents, caregivers, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends, took part. They were able to enjoy interactive games, the popular bouncy house, the giant slide, a dunk tank and plenty of snacks and slush.

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, whose office was one of the official sponsors of the event, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy were on hand to greet all in attendance. The chief sponsors and hosts of the event were the MHS Classes of 2024 and 2025, who first brought the idea to MHS Principal Chris Mastrangelo. Mastrangelo got the approval the students in the senior and junior classes were looking for from city and school higher ups, and it was a “GO.” The students, class officers and advisors combined to put on a show to remember, with plenty of interactive games for all ages, carnival-style refreshments like popcorn, slush and fried dough and one of the most popular games on the Malden High “boardwalk,” in the Courtyard.

Several Malden teachers and administrators took part in the Dunk Tank, including MHS Principal Chris Mastrangelo – the main attraction – and in so doing, helped the Malden High classes make some money to fund future events, such as Senior Prom. Mastrangelo ended up getting “dunked” more than a few times, most notably when Malden Mayor Gary Christenson put up his $5 for six throws, but only needed two, and he hit the target and knocked the MHS principal into the tank on his second one. The Mayor credited the many season-opening “first pitch” events he attends for the Malden High, Babe Ruth and Little League teams each year for his “eagle eye” accuracy.

“It was a great day for everyone, our Malden High students who planned and ran the event and all of the many people who attended,” Mastrangelo said. “There were a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.”

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