Special needs school celebrates special Thanksgiving

WALLINGFORD --  For most of us, Thanksgiving is Thursday. But, at a school in Wallingford, Thanksgiving always happens two days ahead of time.

It was a special day for students with special needs at High Road Academy, whose 11 Connecticut campuses include Wallingford.

"It's a lot calmer than a regular high school," said Star Zmuda, a student. "I get a lot more work done. People are a lot more nicer."
Of course, Thanksgiving is it still a couple of days away, but it's today that's most special to many at High Road Academy.

"Having a wonderful time sharing good conversation and connecting with loved ones, indeed," said Tyler Jenkins, while sitting with his mother and father for lunch.

Today, the school's annual Thanksgiving feast was served by the student's in the culinary club.

"I like being helpful," said Matthew Manger, a student who lives in Bristol.  "You know, I'm a nice guy. It's fun serving food."

For some students, this is the only Thanksgiving celebration they'll share in this week.

"Glad to see everybody here today," added Jenkins, with a smile.

This is also a day the staff cherishes "because I see all the social skills and all the program that we've done in a year's time come to fruition," said Sue Gilleaudeau, the Education Director at High Road.

Special needs? More like special people, for whom we should all be thankful.