OSWEGO, NY – Thousands of students headed back to the classroom Wednesday to start another new school year.
“There’s a positive atmosphere all around the district today,” said Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey. “All the students are smiling; we have a friendly and welcoming staff, it’s just a great opening day. I hope we can keep this energy going throughout the entire year.”
The first to arrive to begin the 2014-15 school year were Oswego High School and Oswego Middle School students as they departed their buses shortly before 7:30 a.m.
Just about an hour and fifteen minutes later, the five elementary schools came to life as hundreds of students arrived at each.
From the youngest students, who were anxious about attending their very first day, to the veteran teachers of 35 years or more the new year brought a new beginning.
“I’m excited to be back,” said eighth grader Dane Richardson. “I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends again and am looking forward to getting to know my new teachers this year.”
“We had a wonderful first day at Oswego Middle School. It is always so exciting to see all of the new faces to our school along with our returning eighth graders,” said Mary Beth Fierro, Oswego Middle School principal.
The OMS faculty and staff worked hard all summer long to prepare for the upcoming school year, she said.
“Our school is in beautiful condition and our teachers are ready to motivate and engage our seventh and eighth graders during the 2014 – 2015 school year. We are fortunate to be able to work in such a wonderful community with such supportive parents and guardians,” she said.
The elementary schools provided a variety of activities for opening day.
Among the more unique was the Boo Hoo Breakfast sponsored by the Frederick Leighton Elementary School for parents of incoming kindergartners.
They were able to enjoy coffee and pastries while being welcomed to the “Leighton Family” by home and school association officers.
“It was a great start to the school year with a lot of smiling faces. There were a few tears (mostly from parents but I’m not sure if they were sad tears or tears of joy),” said Pamela Dowd of Leighton’s Home and School Association. “Loads of excitement and enthusiasm in the air. Everyone at Leighton is looking forward to an awesome school year!”
“Kindergarten orientation went wonderful on Tuesday and most every family participated. This was a great first step in establishing a great relationship with our students and their families, said Mary Volkomer, principal of Kingsford Park Elementary School. “Things went very well on opening day. We’re looking forward to a great school year!”
Everything was smooth at KPS, other than the hiccups with buses getting to the stops late this afternoon, she added.
“It was wonderful to see all the families bringing their children in this morning for the first day of school. Many of them were kindergartners beginning the first of many days here at Kingsford Park School. The smiling faces and a positive energy filled the building all day. Students seeing old friends, meeting new ones and getting to know each other and us all over again,” the principal said. “The first day of a new year is special for all of us. What a blessing!”
“It’s a wonderful opening day! Everything is going very well,” said Dr. Linda Doty, principal of Charles Riley Elementary School. “It’s great to see all the smiling faces. We have a really big crowd here today.”
Overall around the district, the superintendent said the enrollment in the elementary grades appeared to be on an upswing.
A new academic career is just starting for the kindergarteners, while members of the “Class of 2015” have begun the countdown to graduation.