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County schools close books on another year

June 11, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

From the cafeteria to the classroom, parting was bittersweet for students, teachers and staff at Lincolnshire Elementary School on Thursday, the last day of school before summer vacation for Washington County Public Schools students.

At Lincolnshire, food server Connie Purdham wore a T-shirt with the words "It's finally here the end of the year" written on the front and "Good-bye" written on the back.

"We're really going to miss these kids," Purdham said.

As she and other food servers cleaned the kitchen for the last time this school year, Purdham said they would miss serving such student favorites as pizza and nachos with cheese.

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Around the corner, 11-year-old Shalisa Tyler spent the day getting her T-shirt autographed by classmates. Next year, Shalisa will start the sixth grade at Springfield Middle School.

"It's a reminder of all my friends," Shalisa said.

Other students like Brennon Stouffer, 9, and Zachary Nalley, 10, said they'll miss their teachers, but they are excited about being able to sleep late over the summer months.

Outside at the last recess, third-grade teacher Rhonda Brechbill cranked up her boom box as fourth- and fifth-graders laughed and danced the Macarena.

"It feels great! I'm ready to go to the beach," said Brechbill, who photographed students and teachers jamming to the beat of the music.

Kindergartners shared mixed reactions about the last day of school.

"They don't understand the concept of summer being in between school years. Some think they're going to the first grade," teacher Jenny Smith said.

Kindergartner Trevon Williams, 5, was an exception.

"I'm going to take out the trash and I'm going to New York to visit my dad," Trevon said when asked about his plans for the summer.

Veteran teacher Jan Young said she looks forward to reading a good book and taking a vacation with her husband.

"Teachers are just as excited as the children about the last day and there are always a few tears shed," she said.

As Principal Darlene Teach dismissed classes for the last time, students stopped to hug teachers and friends as they rushed out the door.

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