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Reflections and projections

August 20, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Erin Yost said when she returns to Warm Springs Middle School in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., in late August she'll miss the summer's three S's the most - sleeping, swimming and shopping. Seeing her school friends, and maybe even learning to read music during her seventh-grade year, will make the transition back to school a little sweeter, said Erin, 12, of Berkeley Springs.

She's among a dozen Tri-State-area students who recently shared their fondest summer memories and hopes for the school year ahead.

Though she'll miss hanging out at the pool with her friends, Ciara White is psyched about attending a new school - literally. She'll start eighth grade at the newly built Spring Mills Middle School near Falling Waters, W.Va. The downside is that some of her middle school pals will attend Hedgesville Middle School - and there's a new dress code in effect. That means no open-toed shoes, said Ciara, 13, of Falling Waters.

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"When the school year gets near the end, you want to wear flip-flops instead of tennis shoes because they go with your skirt or whatever," she said. "Now you can't."

Samantha Strickland, 13, of Hagerstown, said she'll miss spending time with friends from outside school when she starts eighth grade at Clear Spring Middle School, but she's looking forward to showing off her new personal style. Samantha shed her Gothic look over the summer and adopted a brighter hair color and wardrobe, she said.

"I still like the color black, but I want to try some different styles," Samantha said.

Ashley Imes, 12, of Hagerstown, will trade one Russell for another - and she's not thrilled about it. Ashley said she'll miss spending days with her Jack Russell terrier puppy, Sierra, when she starts eighth grade at E. Russell Hicks Middle School in Hagerstown. Learning some physics might make the trade more worthwhile, she said.

Alexia Grant, 8, of Frederick, Md., said she wants to learn more about plants during her third-grade year at Tuscarora Elementary School in Frederick. Her brother, 12-year-old Jamie Grant, said he hopes to multiply his math skills - and meet some friendly new teachers - during his seventh-grade year at Crestwood Middle School in Frederick. But he'd rather continue playing basketball with his buddies - a hobby he enjoyed during his summer break.

Josh McVay, 17, of Hagers-town, said he isn't looking forward to waking up at 6:30 a.m. - his summer bedtime - during his senior year at Smithsburg High School. The thought of his high-school graduation and post-grad enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces might make rising early a bit easier for the night owl.

Sammi Snodderly, 17, of Williamsport, also will miss "waking up late, at like 3 in the afternoon," she said. But the Williamsport High School junior can't wait to start playing again for the school's state champion volleyball team, she said.

"I'm going to miss the beach and my traveling softball team, The Heartbreakers," said Nina Crist, 15, of Downsville. Her Frederick-based team finished in the top 30 out of 150 teams at a national championship in North Carolina this summer. Nina, a home-schooled student, said she looks forward to meeting new friends when she begins taking college prep classes at Hagerstown Community College this fall. She hopes one day to work as an FBI agent.

Six-year-old Brooke Stotler of Great Cacapon, W.Va., said she wants to learn "everything" during her first-grade year at Widmyer Elementary School in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Her big sister, 9-year-old Brittney Stotler, hopes her fourth-grade teachers at Warm Springs Elementary School in Berkeley Springs give her the skills she needs to read bigger books.

An avid reader who especially enjoys the "Junie B. Jones" series, Brittney recently picked up a new book at Valley Mall in Hagerstown to practice reading before school starts.

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