WILMINGTON — While it was a cloudy and rainy Wednesday as Wilmington students began the 2016-17 school year, students and educators alike were optimistic about a bright future as they returned to the classroom and picked up where they left off just a few months ago.
Buses pulled out of the lot before day break to begin their routes. Teachers and administrators arrived at school early to assure that every student was accounted for, materials were in place, and a friendly face was on hand to greet each student, whether he or she was an experienced senior in WHS’ Class of 2017 or a novice in the kindergarten class of 2029.
“Walking the hallways and greeting students on the first day of school is always exciting,” said Superintendent Ron Sexton. “Today marked my 37th straight year of opening day, and it never gets old.”
According to Sexton, there is a wide range of emotions at play on the first day of school. At the middle school and high school level, parents smile as they wave goodbye to their children while often times parents of elementary school students fight back tears.
“It’s a day filled with fresh starts and new beginnings,” said Sexton, “and it’s a great day to be a Hurricane.”
While senior Hurricanes celebrated their last first day of high school, the youngest of Hurricanes were both nervous and excited to begin their first official day in the classroom.
There were also teachers in the buildings with first day jitters, having just recently joined the staff of WCS:
• Wilmington High School and Middle School welcomes Valorie Johnson (math), Cora Kramer (social studies), Will McNally (English language arts), Mariah Messink (vocational agriculture), Lauren Spires (art), Jake Green (eighth-grade math), Tracey Harlan (intervention), and Brian Whitten (seventh-grade science).
• Denver Place Elementary welcomes Cynthia Ahern (music) and Hannah Keeton (intervention).
• East End Elementary welcomes Penny Flint (aide), Brady Marshall (fourth/fifth English language arts), and Katherine Lowe (intervention).
• Holmes Elementary welcomes Tessa Carey (intervention), Samantha Clark (third-grade English language arts), Kelsey Conway (fourth English language arts), Caleb Keeton (fifth-grade math), Megan Milne (intervention), Tammy Reed (aide), and Alicia West (third-grade English language arts).
WCS also welcomes District Psychologists Diana Fields (WHS/Holmes/East End), Jane Gallagher (Denver), Katherine Poitinger (WMS/East End), Denver Crossing Guard Shayne McKeehan, WHS Custodian Lauren LeFevers, Bus Driver Terri Frederick, and Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Jenni Swindler.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.