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School's out!

Last day of school brings endings and beginnings

Last day of school brings endings and beginnings

June 06, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Teachers and school administrators broke out in song and dance Monday as the school buses drove away from E. Russell Hicks Middle School on the last day of school.

"I retire today," Roger Stenersen, the school's principal said, smiling as the buses pulled off.

"We had a good year," said Stenersen, who has been an educator for more than 30 years.

School ended Monday for about 20,500 Washington County Public Schools students. Hordes of them zipped to their school buses the second the dismissal bell rang.

"I'm excited," said E. Russell Hicks seventh-grader Alex Smelgus, 13, who took cookies to share with his classmates.

The children weren't the only ones celebrating. The last day of school also brought new beginnings and happy endings for more than 2,300 teachers, school administrators and staff.

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The moment was bittersweet for parents, too.

Amy Squibb said her son Frankie Squibb, 14, just completed eighth grade at Western Heights Middle School. He's going to be a freshman in high school in the fall.

"I'm not real happy about it, but such is life," Amy Squibb said as she picked up her younger son, Christopher Squibb, from Salem Avenue Elementary School. "I guess it's because he's my oldest. He's not my baby anymore. Of course, he hasn't been my baby for a while now."

Christopher will be a sixth-grader in the fall, but he said he wasn't nervous about the move to middle school. He was just glad school was finished.

"Thank God school is over today," he said.

At E. Russell Hicks, Monica Mendez, 11, said she didn't feel like going to school at all Monday.

"But I wanted to see my friends," the sixth-grader said.

After the bell rang, she hugged her friend Jessica Madden, 12, and shared a few giggles before saying goodbye. But it wasn't a permanent goodbye.

"We're going to play together at my pool," Monica said.

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