Schools open for another year of learning

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Photo by Amy Hoffer, WSWHE BOCES. Whitehall Elementary School Principal Adriana Strong greets some of her students on opening day.

By E.J. Conzola and Doug La Rocque

Nothing signals the end of summer like the start of school and as of Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 6 and 7, the sun set on the lazy, hazy days of unfettered play.

Hartford, Whitehall and Granville as well as the rest of Washington County saw the return to the streets of the big and small yellow buses, with educators and administrators greeting the children as they entered the school buildings for the start of another adventure in the learning process.

Of particular note are the littlest ones entering kindergarten, leaving their parents and entering the school building, a completely new environment. And for the oldest students, the seniors, it is the revelation this is their final year in an institution where many have spent their entire fundamental educational years.

Now they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, be it college, trade schools, entering the work force or the military. It is also the realization they will be saying goodbye to many friends they see daily, moving forward to meet new friends and perhaps forming a relationship that will last for the rest of their lives.

Granville School Superintendent Tom McGurl spoke with NYVT Media about their first day of school, saying “it is always a great day when our staff and students return from summer recess. I had the opportunity to get around to all our different buildings to informally chat with our students and staff. All reports are the day was a success, one of many more to come, I am sure.”

McGurl added: “I look forward to watching our staff challenge themselves and the students to accomplish personal and academic goals this year. As educators we are blessed and should be humbled by the awesome responsibility that is entrusted to us to aid students along their journey to adulthood.”

Hartford school superintendent Andrew Cook said, “I thought the first day of classes went great and always brings a renewed sense of energy and excitement into the building. We are looking forward to a wonderful new year and working to provide the best educational opportunity possible for all our students.”

In Whitehall, Superintendent Patrick Dee said simply, “It was a very smooth start to the school year. We are pleased to have the kids back in the building.”