ADDISON – Addison Trail High School Principal Adam Cibulka and District 88 Superintendent Scott Helton hitched a ride on the bus after Addison's first day of school.
"It's a cool way to get to know the students," Cibulka said.
This was the second year the pair of administrators volunteered to ride the bus on the first day back. It's also the second year for each of them in their positions. Helton was principal of Addison Trail for 11 years before he became superintendent and Cibulka took over in the position last year.
"You get to see what it's like to ride on a high school bus again," said Helton, who saw the ride as a unique opportunity for administrators to talk to students.
Cibulka said the students always give advice about the cafeteria, and this year was no different. Just minutes after students boarded the bus, multiple requests for Portillo's in the cafeteria filled the air.
Helton asked the freshmen how they liked high school compared to middle school.
"It's so much better," said Hayley Scotti, who had never taken the bus before her first day of high school.
She said she was more excited than nervous after her first day at Addison Trail. Across the aisle from Scotti, sophomore Alicia Lopez had a good first day as well. She's most excited to start driver's education this semester.
"It's kind of like a mini mentor session," Cibulka said of the trip.
Once he and Helton got the conversation going, he liked to see the upperclassmen offering advice to freshman.
Helton thought the bus atmosphere, while it was a little warm in mid-August, provided a generally comfortable space for students to offer their perspectives on school.
"It's their world," Helton said.