For Nevada schoolkids, the bell tolls
Summer vacation became a memory Monday for Douglas County students, as the 1997-98 school year began.
As usual, there were mixed emotions.
“I feared this day because (summer vacation) was too short,” said Betsy Bradford, an eighth grader at Kingsbury Middle School. “Everything has changed … but it’s good.”
“I was up early,” said Katrina Kacirek, a fourth grader at Zephyr Cove Elementary.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I went for a swim,” said Jesse Olson, also an eighth grader at Kingsbury.
Many of the returning students came back to new carpeting or equipment. Mixed with the smells of school lunches and gym socks is the slight aroma of fresh paint.
But whatever changes have been made cosmetically, there are still familiar faces and schedules. Most students were eager to resume their learning and socializing.
“I have fun and I learn,” said Sam Grady, a second grader at Zephyr Cove.
“I went to bed early so I could be prepared,” Bradford said.
“I was looking forward to school, I even made my lunch,” Olson said. “But only two teachers like me this year.”
“I want more summer,” said Chad Kolpacoff, a senior at Whittell High
The ambiguity spans the generation gap as well. Although most faculty members have been preparing for the first day for weeks or months, the test is when the students come. It is a process of settling in for both students and teachers.
“There’s a lot of anticipation and excitement,” said Colleen Sullivan, a language development specialist at Kingsbury. “There’s problems and you’re constantly running around putting out fires.”
“So far so good,” said Terri Zager, attendance clerk at Whittell. “Everyone seems to be rising to the challenge.”
“We’re excited to have the school open,” Principal W. H. Robison of Zephyr Cove said. “Elementary school is a fun place to be.”
So begins another day in the career of a student. The classes of 1998 to 2011 are off and running. Faculty and staff members are continuing to hone their skills as well.
School bells will ring for students in the South Lake Tahoe Unified School District on Sept. 9
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