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Students excited about school after Rockland Woods open house

August 19, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Taking a stuffed gorilla from its spot along the library wall, Jared Harriman showed the animal to his mom.

"Look mom! It's from Tarzan," the 7-year-old said, referring to a cartoon character.

Jared's mother, Alice Harriman, of Hagerstown, said her son will start school Wednesday at Rockland Woods Elementary, and both took a tour of the new school Monday.

Like many of the 1,000 parents, students, grandparents and others expected at two open houses Monday, it was the first time Harriman had been inside Rockland Woods.

Harriman was particularly impressed by the library, which was colorful, vibrant and entertaining, she said. Jared was already referring to it as "my library."

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"This school is absolutely amazing," Harriman said.

Students and parents met with teachers Monday and toured the building, which is south of Hagerstown off Sharpsburg Pike, Principal Kathy Stiles said.

Stiles also told them about clubs, after-school activities and programs that will be available at Rockland Woods.

Rockland Woods is one of three new school buildings opening for students Wednesday. The others are Pangborn and Maugansville elementary schools.

"To see the excitement of the parents, students and teachers was just awesome," said Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan after attending open houses at Rockland Woods and Pangborn elementary schools Monday. "It was incredible."

Third-grader Britney Metz, 8, and her parents, Tim and Connie Metz, of Hagerstown, said Rockland Woods will be a "big change" from Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education, where Britney was enrolled last year.

She said she is most excited about the locker she'll use to store her books and other supplies.

"I'm just glad I get to put things in it," she said.

Other students were looking at their lockers, practicing rotating the knob and reciting combinations.

Brenda Poole, of Warfordsburg, Pa., toured the new school with her grandson, Austin Curtis.

Austin, a first-grader, was a student at Fountain Rock Elementary last year.

"This is a great school," Poole said. "I think we could get lost in here for a week."

Jeff Summers of Hagerstown, and his wife, Cindy Summers, met their first-grader's teacher Monday and toured the school. Their son, Bradley, said he was most excited about the rock-climbing wall in the gymnasium that he heard about.

Bradley was a student at Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education last year. His parents said they were nervous about Bradley attending a much larger school with older children this year. However, after touring the school and seeing that their son already knew some students, they said they felt "pretty comfortable."

Wendy Price, who lives outside Sharpsburg, said her son, Cade Price, 9, won't know many children when he starts school Wednesday. Cade was one of only two children moved from Sharpsburg Elementary to Rockland Woods.

Price said Cade is excited about being in a "brand-new school," but said he will have to make new friends.

Like Bradley, Cade also heard about the rock-climbing wall and was anxious to see it.

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