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Berkeley County school officials pleased with first day of school

August 19, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Billy McCune looks over a class list posted on a window before he enters Rosemont Elementary School in Martinsburg on Monday. McCune is a third-grader.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Spring Mills High School Principal Marc Arvon couldn’t have been more pleased Monday about the start of the first day of classes at Berkeley County’s newest high school.

“I’m extremely, extremely, extremely happy with how things have gone this morning,” Arvon said while students ate lunch in the cafeteria.

“The kids have been so cooperative and understanding, and the staff members — everyone’s just really energized,” said Arvon, who addressed the student body in an assembly before the start of the day.

Some students were wearing cardinal red T-shirts that they were given in homeroom Monday. The cardinal, the state bird, is the school’s mascot. 

Arvon said group pictures of the school’s students were taken in the gymnasium as part of opening-day activities.

Across the school district, “we had an excellent first day of school,” county Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon said Monday night at the Berkeley County Board of Education’s regular meeting.

Arvon said that particular attention was given to the five schools — Bedington Elementary, Hedgesville Elementary, Tomahawk Intermediate, Tuscarora Elementary and Potomack Intermediate — that started the school year with new principals.

Spring Mills High School is the fourth high school where Marc Arvon has served as principal in his 33-year career in education.

“Most of the students who are here are happy to be here and, of course, there’s some that would rather perhaps stay at the school they started with, but it seems like everyone is pretty excited overall,” Marc Arvon said.

County school officials decided to open Spring Mills without a senior class to allow rising seniors who have been attending the county’s three other high schools to graduate from where they have been attending classes.

Arvon said they had a lot of people outside the building to direct traffic, and there were some temporary, handwritten signs near the school entrance directing people to student parking and drop-off areas.

“Over the weekend, as I thought through the process, I found some holes that we overlooked,” Marc Arvon said, lauding staff for helping take care of them.

After Monday’s school board meeting, Manny Arvon said an additional sheriff’s deputy assisted the high school’s assigned deputy with traffic control.

The superintendent said a number of students walked to the high school Monday from a neighboring residential development.

The new 250,000-square-foot high school, the largest built with state funds, is next to a primary school and a middle school as part of a planned educational campus off U.S. 11 at W.Va. 901.

Spring Mills is the first high school built in Berkeley County since 1949, when Musselman High School opened in Inwood, W.Va.

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