New Rockland Woods Elementary School dedicated

September 17, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- A student approached Principal Kathy Stiles on Monday and said, "This place is awesome," referring to Rockland Woods Elementary School.

"I agree," Stiles said Tuesday during a dedication ceremony at the new school that opened for students in August.

Each of the school's nearly 500 students attended the ceremony, along with Washington County Public Schools staff, School Board members, and current and past Washington County Commissioners.

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, also attended.

After a reception, officials were given tours of the school by students.

Rockland Woods Elementary, off Md. 65 in the Westfields housing development, is one of three new schools in Washington County. Dedication ceremonies for the other two -- Maugansville and Pangborn elementary schools -- will be in October.

It's been only a month since the first day of school, but fifth-graders at the school were asked to describe in an essay what Rockland Woods means to them. Three essay contest winners shared their thoughts at Tuesday's ceremony.


Landon Buzzerd, 10, described Rockland Woods as the "best school ever." He said the new computers and 12,000 new books in the school's library make his school special.

"It even has a rock-climbing wall," he said.

Landon said he doesn't even mind Rockland Wood's early start time of 7:35 a.m.

"I can't wait until the bus comes, because it's another day at the best school ever," he said.

Autumn Weyant, 10, said the 85,277-square-foot building is the biggest school she's ever seen. She said she's enjoying the after-school clubs available there, and said the teachers are "super nice."

Nine-year-old Hunter Ostrum, another essay contest winner, said he was impressed on his first day at Rockland Woods.

"As I walked in, I couldn't believe my eyes that this was my new school," he said.

Hunter was one of about 130 Fountain Rock Elementary students who were moved to Rockland Woods before the start of the school year. He said three of his old gymnasiums could fit in his new gymnasium. And after spending five years eating lunch in his classroom, Hunter said he was thrilled to have a cafeteria.

Fountain Rock Elementary does not have a cafeteria.

Hunter ended his speech by saying, "Go Tigers!"

The white tiger is the school's new mascot.

Officials on Tuesday praised the teamwork that went into building Rockland Woods.

"You hear horror stories," Stiles said. "But we had such an amazing team."

Three new elementary schools in Washington County opened in August. The dedication ceremony for Rockland Woods Elementary was Tuesday. Dedication ceremonies for the other schools will be on the following dates:

  • Pangborn Elementary, Oct. 7

  • Maugansville Elementary, Oct. 14

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