OSWEGO, NY â€“ It was a bit breezy and chilly outside for opening day of the 2010 â€“ 11 school year. Inside the schools it was warm and welcoming, despite the continuous hustle and bustle of workers finishing off renovation work.
Returning students exchanged hugs and high-fives at all the schools in the district as friends were reunited after the hot summer.
Oswego Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist echoed the students’ enthusiasm.
â€œIt was an exciting day. Everyoneâ€™s enthusiasm was evident as we visited the schools,â€ he said.
Though construction continues throughout the district, the school buildings are ready to go for the new year and all the students are safe, Crist stressed.
According to Bill Foley, district clerk, approximately 4,100 students walked through the doors as the Oswego City School District commenced the 2010-11 school year.
Kailsey Watts, a first grader at Riley Elementary, said she was excited to go back to school.
â€œMrs. Devendorf is my new teacher,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s going to be fun.â€
The district’s staff is prepared for the new school year, Crist noted. He encouraged all district employees to approach the year with a positive attitude and reminded everyone that attitude is critical to relationships, communication and progress.
That positive attitude was prevalent as students arrived Wednesday morning.
â€œWe had a great opening. There was a lot of excitement and energy in the air at Riley Elementary,â€ said new principal Mary Beth Fierro.
â€œIt is great, a dream come true for me. I am humbled by that I am able to do it in my hometown,â€ Fierro said of being appointed to her first principalship.
â€œStudents at Frederick Leighton Elementary School came back today excited to return from their summer vacation. The smiles on their faces and cheerful voices showed their enthusiasm for entering their new classrooms, meeting their teachers and seeing friends, old and new,â€ said Julie Burger, Principal of Frederick Leighton Elementary School.
After the kindergarten students went in their classrooms for their first day, the parents were invited to the library for a â€œBoo Hoo Breakfastâ€ sponsored by the Home and School Association.
There, they could meet each other, find out about Leighton School and relax with tissues nearby just in case they were needed.
â€œI must say, more tears came from the parents than from the students,â€ Burger noted. â€œWe look forward to a wonderful year here at Leighton school. It is great to see our school community back again!â€
â€œWe had a great first day at Riley School. It was wonderful seeing the Class of 2023 come in, all 88 of them!â€ Fierro added. â€œWe greeted them with smiling faces and things went great in the kindergarten classrooms with special area teachers all coming in for extra support so everything went smoothly.â€
She spent the two and a half hours in the lunch room with everyone and welcomed them; and also talked about the expectations for the cafeteria.
After visiting all the classrooms in the school, the new principal reported, â€œTeachers and students are off to a great start and everyone seems happy.â€
Fitzhugh Park Elementary was one of the schools where construction was still going on.
Principal Donna Simmons credited everyone involved with getting the school clean and ready for the returning students.
â€œItâ€™s clean and nice and ready to go,â€ she said. â€œThere were a lot of anxious students who were here, with a parent, at 8, quarter after 8 this morning ready to get back to school.â€
For example, workers just recently laid the floor tiles in one section of the school, then cleaned and polished them up the same day, she noted.
She hopes to have all the work completed by the schoolâ€™s open house on Sept. 29.
â€œWeâ€™re doing fine. The students are excited to be back,â€ said Joseph Lazarski, principal of Trinity Catholic School. â€œEverybodyâ€™s been very supportive and helpful.â€
The pesky showers forced them to have their opening prayer service inside this year.
â€œWe had balloons out front. They all blew away. Theyâ€™re out there somewhere. But, itâ€™s still going to be a good school year,â€ the principal laughed.