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Exciting first day for Class of 2022

by Tom Chillemi

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Middlesex Elementary kindergarten teachers welcomed their 77 students when buses arrived for the kindergartners’ first day of school on Tuesday.  (Photo by Tom Chillemi)
Tuesday morning there was a lot more movement. Summer vacation was over and lines of traffic were led by big yellow school buses.

The school crossing guards sharply kept traffic moving in and out of St. Clare Walker Middle School and Middlesex Elementary School at Locust Hill.

Kindergarten teachers Jean Wright and Patty Larson had hugs for students as they got off the bus at MES.

Kindergarten student Katie Brooke, standing in line to go inside MES, gave a smiling wave to her mother, who couldn’t hold back a tear. “I’m worse off than she is,” said Karen Brooke of Stormont, who waited and watched with her husband Ed until their daughter’s class went inside.

By 8:40 a.m. kindergarten students in Genia Murfee’s class had learned to raise their hands if they wanted to talk. They also had learned the symbol for quiet, which they all showed to Middlesex Public School Superintendent Rusty Fairheart, who sat with them long enough for everyone to tell him their names.

Pat Russell of Urbanna was starting her 15th year as a volunteer. She quietly slipped into Kelly Thomas’ room as the teacher was leading her students in a song and dance.

Mrs. Russell hugged a boy who was not sure how he should move his body to the music. After her hug, he found the beat.

Tina Carmell’s class was playing a modified version of “Simon Says.”

“Simon says, stand up,” said Mrs. Carmell. “Simon says, push your chair in . . . Simon says move quietly to the rug.” Everyone got it right.

Summer’s over. It’s time to listen and learn. In those first minutes on their very first day of school the kindergarteners were already learning.

It’s also time to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. The Class of 2022 will figure things out together over the next 13 years. They will learn volumes about things they cannot even imagine right now.

September 2, 2008 was the beginning of that journey. Their future is wide open and full of promise.

These 77 kindergarten students are off to a good start with smiling, happy teachers who will form the foundation on which these children can build their futures.

posted 09.04.2008

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