Zac Ukulele

‘We’re All In This Together’: How This Valley Senior Spread Positivity On First Day Of School

Zac Komanapalli loves playing his ukulele. Even more, he loves spreading joy to those who need a tad bit extra inspiration in their lives.

And when students arrived to Valley High School for the first day of school on Thursday, Aug. 27, the senior grabbed his instrument and strummed tunes outside the main offices.

“I wanted to give everyone some positivity now especially, and it’s been a long time,” Komanapalli said.

Since his sophomore year, Komanapalli—who is part of Valley’s Acoustics Club—typically brings his ukulele to play on Fridays as part of a way to lift spirits and help others start their day on the right note.

“It’s just really good for the vibe. It helped everyone out and it helps me out a lot,” he said. “This year was hard for me. But a lot of positive words from people here really kept me going, and I’ve heard that a lot of things I’ve done have kept people going too, so everyone builds on each other.”

While he played Thursday, Komanapalli greeted students who walked by with a “welcome back” or “good morning” message. The classmates shared brief conversations about their upcoming classes and the new norm at Valley amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff and teachers complimented Komanapalli as they navigated the hallway, many of whom saying they were ecstatic to see him back in his usual spot and hearing his familiar songs.

Leading up to the first day, he admitted he was nervous being at school, but said, “I really want to be here because there’s a lot of good people here.”

“There’s a lot of value in learning here,” Komanapalli said. “I’ll do the best I can to help everyone out with wearing a mask and all of that, try to help out the vibe, and make sure everyone has some sense of normality. That’s really the theme—to keep going—and it’s especially relevant now because of COVID-19.

“We’re all in this together. That’s what the message is here.”

Photos: WDMCS First Day of School 2020

WDMCS First Day of School 2020