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Woodside High School students get a warm welcome for the first day of school

Newport News native welcomed students back to class with music and a chance to win free merchandise from his store.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The doors are open and students are back inside. Following two rough school years due to the pandemic, Newport News business owner Tommy Reamon woke up early to get students excited at Woodside High School.

"It feels good we're headed back the right way," Reamon said. "Things are getting back to normal. You know sooner or later pep rallies will be back, sporting events are coming back. I'm just excited to see things get back to normal."

Tommy Reamon owns City On My Chest at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News. With music, he and his employees hoped to brighten the day. Some lucky students will even win free merchandise from Reamon's store.

 "Last year, they were virtual and I know that was very challenging," he said. "So, the kids being back in the building today. I want to just get the energy up. It's going to be a great year."

Dr. Nichols said it's great to see a Newport News native support students.

"Today had a lot of anxiety for a lot of students and staff and so when he reached out two weeks ago and wanted to partner, we were really excited to do so," said Dr. Windy Nichols, the principal at Woodside High School.

"A lot of our students know of him and his store and his brand and the fact that he was a Newport News students," she said. "So it's important to show them what other students have done in our city," she said. 

Reamon hopes that the simple welcome will create a lasting bond.

"Relationships goes a long way," he said. "These kids will be in the mall one day and see the store and hopefully they'll recognize our faces and feel like they can come in and be open with us and start the bond."

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