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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.”

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