QA students head back to school
First day goes smoothly, superintendent says
CENTREVILLE — Monday, Aug. 29, was the first day back to school for Queen Anne’s County students in grades one through six and nine, plus fifth-graders at Sudlersville Middle School. High school and middle school students in grades seven and eight and 10-12 returned on Tuesday, Aug. 30, and prek and kindergarten begin Tuesday, Sept. 6. Students and parents alike were excited for the 2016-17 school year, said Interim Superintendent Greg Pilewski at the end of the first day.
“Everyone seems to be settling in,” said Pilewski. “All of the staff’s hard work has paid off, and today (the first day of school) is when it all counts.”
Pilewski rode the bus with Bayside and Kent Island Elementary students on their first day of the school year. He drew praise from several of the bus drivers after he went bus-to-bus thanking them for their service. They said Pilewski was instrumental in reaching a tentative agreement in contract talks that had stalled all summer.
It’s good to see everyone excited about going back to school, Pilewski added.
Though the names attached to many of the administrative positions at the majority of schools in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools this year have changed from last, the faces are still familiar.
David DuLac, this year principal at Kent Island Elementary, said, “It’s a homecoming of a sort, a lot of (the same) staff is still here, so when I came back on board, that first day was like I’m back.”
DuLac said, “From there, we really kind of picked up. We didn’t take a whole lot of time [to adjust].” DuLac said he had interviewed two of the new teachers at KIES, and his team recommended them for permanent positions in the county.
Kimberly Seidel is also new to Sudlersville Elementary as principal, but taught in Queen Anne’s in the 1990s. Her enthusiasm in being at SES was contagious on the first day as she walked the halls speaking with students and staff, stopping to give positive feedback.
Another transfer, Theresa Farnell, formerly the assistant principal at Centreville Middle, is now leading staff at Centreville Elementary as principal this year. Farnell and CES mascot Cubby gave smiles and encouraging words and high fives to students on their way in to school on the first day.
At Grasonville Elementary, Principal Carol Kamp reported, “Everything’s been good. The buses were here on time and the children came in with smiles on their faces.”
Kamp said, “When I walked the building about 10 a.m. and went into all the classrooms – since I’m new I wanted to introduce myself — everybody, and I mean everybody, was busy and working. They looked like they were ready to go. We’ve had no problems this morning so far.”
Kamp said even though she is at a new school, in a way
Adam Leager, fourth grade, Conner Leager, first grade, and Christopher Mast, second grade, are ready for their first day back at Sudlersville Elementary.
Julia and Hannah Kries, sixth and eighth grade at Centreville Middle, are ready to go back to school. Tuesday, Julia’s first day, was also her 12th birthday.
Sodexo employees, from left, Gail Williamson, Ginny Moran and Christine Cox, greet Sudlersville Elementary students with a smile and fresh, healthy lunch on their first day of school, Aug. 29.
Benja Brooks is ready for his first day of fifth grade at Sudlersville Middle School.