Forget opening presents on Christmas Day, for Rowan Elementary principal Dr. John Giancola, nothing beats late August.
“This is the most exciting time of the year, the first day of school,” he said.
Giancola was at the front doors of the school as buses arrived Tuesday morning to welcome back new and returning students with high fives and handshakes.
Unlike last year, he and the staff weren’t wearing aprons. That look was part of the theme for the 2011-12 school year, “Recipe for Success.” This year’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Action.”
“It’s a Hollywood atmosphere here,” Giancola joked.
Over at Haine Elementary and Middle School, assistant principal Mandy Toy was feeling first day of school jitters. That’s because this is the first year Toy, who assumed her position in January, is greeting returning students as an administrator.
“We’re excited to welcome some eager new learners back to school,” she said.
Also guiding students were members of the Haine School Parent-Teacher Organization. Wearing red T-shirts, and armed with school maps, the volunteers helped guide students to their classrooms.
Toy said the parents would be at the school all week before the buses arrive to lead students to their classrooms. The volunteers also will return in time for first-grade lunch to show those students the way to the cafeteria.
While many students surely were feeling butterflies in their stomachs at the thought of the first day of school, so were parents.
Cranberry resident Jocelyn Donaldson admits her son, Tyler, was a bit nervous before starting his first day of kindergarten, but there were no tears—from either of them.
“Had he cried, it might have been different,” she said.
Lindsay O’Brien, of Cranberry, said she and her daughter, Peyton, who is entering the first grade at Rowan, spent last night picking out the perfect first-day of school outfit.
“I love the first day of school,” O’Brien said.
Tuesday also was the first day back to school for students at Evans City Elementary and Middle School, Connoquenessing Valley Elementary and Seneca Valley’s high school, intermediate high school, and middle school.
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