RIVERVIEW, Fla. -- Staff Sergeant Alejandro Rivas is being welcomed back by his entire school on Monday.

Rivas, who was deployed with the U.S. Air Force for 180 days, returns to his position as middle school PE teacher and coach at Southshore Charter Academy in Riverview. Students and staff created welcome signs leading into the school and banners around the outside field to welcome Rivas back.

"We are so grateful to Coach Rivas for his service and wanted to involve our students in a celebration of his safe return," Interim Principal Dawn Lamb wrote in a statement. "His first day back will include a series of events designed to let him know how much the students and staff missed him."

The celebration starts with a pledge to the flag dedicated to Rivas along with a shout out during the morning announcements. There will also be a parade with students from kindergarten to third grade lining up in the halls to cheer for Rivas and present him with small flags. There will be another parade for grades 4-8 this afternoon.

Fellow teachers and staff will celebrate Rivas' return with a lunch celebration and cake.

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