Advertisement

Washington County students head back to class

August 21, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Mom Anita Clutter gives a goodbye smooch to her daughter, Brianna Lauziere, Wednesday at Potomac Heights Elementary School. Brianna entered third grade Wednesday.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

Emotions ranged from curiosity, to excitement, to nervousness Wednesday as Washington County Public School students and teachers returned to the classroom or, in some cases, spent their very first day in a school.

At Potomac Heights Elementary School on Magnolia Avenue in Hagerstown, kindergarten students walked to their first morning of class with their parents, while older students were waiting outside at about 7:50 a.m.

Potomac Heights third-grader Carter Conroy of Hagerstown said he was looking forward to starting school but noted there was a downside.

“I want to learn new things, but I don’t want to have to wake up early,” said Carter, 8. “I want to learn about science.”

Emercyn Morningstar, 7, a second-grader at Potomac Heights, said that she was excited to be back in school.

“I like to do math, and I have a nice teacher,” said Emercyn of Hagerstown. “I love going to school to see my friends.”

Advertisement

For their part, teachers were ready to teach.

Erica Kozlowski, who began her first year as a full-time teacher Wednesday at Potomac Heights, began a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, lesson for her third-grade students.

By the end of the week, the students would be prepared to do an egg drop, she said.

“We’ve been preparing pretty hard-core for a little while,” Kozlowski said. “It’s neat getting to put faces to names and seeing all the work we’ve put in already paying off.”

Kozlowski said she felt she had prepared properly for her first day, but nevertheless found it to be a little “nerve-wracking.”

“I’ve spent so much time student teaching and working with other teachers that it’s kind of surreal that this is now my classroom, and I’m kind of the person they all look to,” she said.

For some parents walking their youngsters to class, it was their first child going to school.

Sicilly Sellers, 5, the only child of Brittany Sellers, was on her way to her first kindergarten class on Wednesday.

Sellers, 27, of Hagerstown, described the situation as “scary” but said she was happy at the same time.

“It’s just the jitters not knowing if (Sicilly) will be OK in there,” she said. “She’s always been really good with learning, and she wants to make new friends.”

Potomac Heights Principal Carl Stark, who is in his fifth year at the school, said the first day is always “an exciting time of year.”

“We want to make sure all the students arrive and have a wonderful first day,” he said. “We want them to meet their teacher, we want to start instruction immediately.”

Stark said his goal on the first day was to make the students “fall in love” with school.

“The teachers have worked really hard to plan exciting activities for all of our students,” he said. “It’s sort of like Christmas morning, except it’s in August.”

Potomac Heights third-grader Gracie Johnson, 8, of Hagerstown said that she was nervous about starting school and did not want to go Wednesday.

“I was tired, because I was up late last night,” she said. “It gets harder when it’s in third grade.”

Gavin McArthur, 7, of Hagerstown, who was starting second grade, said he is happy to learn but also was concerned about starting school.

“I don’t want to see people being bullied, and I don’t want to be bullied,” Gavin said.

Third-graders Carson Casey, 8, and Leah Stotelmyer, 8, of Hagerstown both described returning to school as “exciting.”

“It’s a little bit exciting to come back and see my friends,” Carson said.

Leah noted that the start of the year is “awesome.”

“I wanted to make new friends,” she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|