ceremony and backpack giveaway.
“Our goals for this year is to be the best that we can be,” said Principal Mary Stephenson in an interview. “We had great accomplishments in all of our testing and data so we’re looking to achieve higher expectations. Our motto is ‘above and beyond’ so we want to continue that motto and give the children all that they need to be successful and college and career ready.”
When it comes to giving children what they need, Comcast Cable partnered with NBC 4 to hand out free backpacks with school supplies to the students.
“In all of the backpacks, we’ve provided information on our Internet Essentials program which provides low-cost internet service to families that participate or are eligible for the free and reduced school lunch program,” Comcast External Affairs Director Brad E. Palazzo said. “This is just a great initiative to be a part of every year. There’s nothing better than on the first day of school, giving kids backpacks that need those school supplies or to help them during the school year. We’re proud to be a part of it and we couldn’t ask for a better partner than NBC 4.”
One person who will be helping kids at Pointer Ridge this school year is Samantha Buker, the new counselor. Buker, a Berwyn Heights resident who substituted for two years and interned at Heather Hills Elementary, said she is very excited to be a part of the new staff at Pointer Ridge. Her goals for the new school year include helping students be the best they can be both academically and socially.
“This is my first year as a counselor so I’m just really excited to get in and help out with the kids,” Buker said. “For me, early intervention is really important. I also used to work with children with autism so I think starting early and kind of helping them with whatever they need at a young age is what’s going to shape them for the rest of their lives.”
“We’re proud of the preparation that we have in place. We’re proud of the teaching and learning,” said Maxwell as he spoke to members of the press after deboarding a bus with students. “You see and feel the tone of the school, the excitement of the children, the readiness, the shined floors, the preparation, the signs, the organizational work and of course the lessons in classrooms. It’s really, really fantastic.”
Having been a principal for 14 years, Stephenson said she loves what she does and can’t imagine doing anything else.
“Right now, I’m not thinking about retirement. I cannot see myself not surrounded by the children, the staff and the families,” she said. “I want to be able to communicate with the children, see the children, be visible so they can see me and make them feel welcome. I want to have an open door policy for the students and the parents.”