Spir­its bright on first day, de­spite rainy weather

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Stein

Rain couldn’t dampen the spir­its of students, teach­ers and the prin­ci­pal as the 100-year-old Lower Sal­ford El­e­men­tary School opened its doors for the first day of the 2012-13 school year Mon­day.

“It’s my fa­vorite day of the year,” said Prin­ci­pal Donna Huff, who came in with large boxes of dough­nut shop cof­fee for the fac­ulty. “It’s neat to be back.”

The hall­way floors shone with a fresh coat of wax ,and bright, wel­com­ing bul­letin boards stood ready to greet the students.

Ch­eryl Ch­wieroth, the school sec­re­tary, said, “It’s rainy out­side but it’s sun-shiny here.”

Teach­ers wel­comed students into the school build­ing as they streamed off the school buses, ar­riv­ing one af­ter an­other. Other teach­ers manned the hall­ways to guide any pupil who was con­fused about which class­room to en­ter.

With their back­packs, kids smiled and chat­ted as they en­tered the doors into the 355-stu­dent school, which bears the nick­name of “Kidsville.”

“It’s re­ally fun,” said Ai­dan Wun­derly, 10, a fourth-grader. “I’m ex- cited to meet my class­mates.”

“I think it’s re­ally neat,” said Madi­son Skrat, 8, a third-grader, who said she won’t miss sum­mer. “It’s fine be­ing back. I love school.”

Hay­ley Mans­field, 8, who is also in third grade, said, “The first day of school is fun be­cause you learn about dif­fer­ent things.”

Cathy Griffo was ready­ing her col­or­ful kinder­garten class­room to great par­ents and students who were com­ing for kinder­garten ori­en­ta­tion.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing,” said Griffo.

“It’s al­ways the same, ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to meet the students and see how ex­cited they are.” She has a class of 22 in the morn­ing and 20 in the af­ter­noon.

Kirsten Hamil­ton brought her son, Cole, 5, to Griffo’s class­room.

“We’re ex­cited,” Hamil­ton said. “And I’m a lit­tle sad that my last baby is go­ing off to school.” “My big kid,” Cole cor­rected his mom. While a song about the al­pha­bet played, Cole went on a scav­enger hunt to ex­plore the room. Cole, who had at­tended the Wig­wam Day Care School, said he be­lieved he’ll have fun in kinder­garten.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to a whole new group of kids,” said third-grade teacher Kathy Cam­pion. “Ev­ery year is dif­fer­ent. You never know what you get, what to ex­pect. It’ll be great no mat­ter what.”

Cam­pion said she ikes how the third­grade chil­dren come into third grade still need­ing the teacher a lot, then grow into in­de­pen­dent students by the end of the year.

Par­ent Tran Nguyen dropped off his fiIWK-gUDGH GDugKWHU, -Hnny.

HH VDLG WKH fiUVW GDy oI VFKool wDV “good” and that the “kids like to come early.”

Mu­sic teacher Tom McGin­niss greeted students as they got off the buses.

“, loYH WKH fiUVW GDy oI VFKool,” VDLG 0FGin­niss. who teaches mu­sic to kinder­garWHn WKUougK fiIWK gUDGH. HH DlVo WHDFKHV FKoUuV DnG VWULngV Wo IouUWK- DnG fiIWK­graders. This year there will be an hon­ors or­ches­tra, he said.

Later, a group of Soud­er­ton Area School Dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tors, led by Su­per­in­tenGHnW )UHGHULFN -oKnVon, goW ouW oI D wKLWH van and headed for the school.

“,W’V Dl­wDyV Dn HxFLWLng WLPH,” -oKnVon VDLG DEouW WKH fiUVW GDy oI VFKool. 7KH WoS ad­min­is­tra­tors make it their prac­tice to YLVLW WKH VFKoolV WKH fiUVW GDy, KH VDLG. “$V a team we get to all 10 build­ings.”

WIN­NERS ... Mem­bers of the Soud­er­ton and Telford po­lice depart­ment re­cently con­grat­u­lated the win­ners of con­tests held at the Aug. 21 Community Night Out. Above: Soud­er­ton Po­lice Of­fi­cer David Gale and Sgt. Kurt Scherzberg present a plaque to the win­ner of the pieeat­ing con­test, Jeff Rick­ert, of the Har­leysville Fire Com­pany. Left: Soud­er­ton Po­lice Of­fi­cer David Gale and Sgt. Kurt Scherzberg stand with Amanda Lewis, of Manayunk, who won a BMX bike in the raf­fle. Pam Chang (not pic­tured) won a moun­tain bike in the raf­fle.

The peach pie is al­ways the high­light — and a quick sell­out — at the an­nual Peaches & Stuff Fes­ti­val.


Kinder­gart­ner Cole Hamil­ton walks to Lower Sal­ford El­e­men­tary School on the first day with his mother, Kirsten.

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