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The Suburbanite
  • Excitement, nerves define Green’s first school day

  • The first day of school can be an exciting, confusing and scary day for students and teachers alike. Such was the first day of class at Green Primary School Aug. 26.

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  • The first day of school can be an exciting, confusing and scary day for students and teachers alike. Such was the first day of class at Green Primary School Aug. 26.
    For second-year teacher Marisa Rainieri the excitement kept waking her up the night before. She had participated in the school’s open house last week and had the chance to meet many of her students and their parents but she was still excited.
    “I had gone to bed early Sunday night but kept waking up to check my alarm to be sure I didn’t oversleep Monday morning,” Rainieri, a first-grade teacher said. “I didn’t want to be late the very first day.”
     As she waited expectantly at her door, her new students slowly filed in. One of the first was a young man who introduced himself to her and started telling her about the morning snacks he brought with him. As other students came in, the boy walked up and introduced himself to each of them.
    Other children slowly filtered in. Some were a little disoriented in the maze of halls and there were teachers and volunteers to help find their assigned rooms.
    As her class settled in to their seats one of Ms. Rainieri’s students became upset and slowly started to sob. Rainieri took her out in the hallway and tried to comfort her.
    “Don’t worry, the day will go by quickly and you will see your mother very soon,” Raineri told the child with a smile. “You will have an exciting time and we will have some serious fun today.”
    That conjured a smile from the little girl, who calmed quickly.
    Later, Rainieri took her students down to the cafeteria for a talk by new principal Scot Shank. She emphasized the need to be very quiet as they walked down the hall.
    “If you feel the need to talk just put your finger up to your lips,” she said demonstrating the technique. “This will seal your lips and we will quietly walk through the halls to the cafeteria.”
     On the long walk from her room to the cafeteria her students were the model of quietness and several teachers passing by complimented them on the behavior.
    Once all the first-grade classes had assembled Shank addressed them. He was very comfortable with the large group of students and walked through the classes as he talked to them.
     “I want to take this opportunity to welcome all of you here,” Shank said. “We are all looking forward to the new school year. I am really excited about our school. I think we have one of the best elementary schools in the state.”
    While first-graders learned the ropes, veteran music teacher Jim Mitzel talked to third-grade students about his class and some of his rules.
    Page 2 of 2 - “When you walk in here I would like you not to touch anything that is on your desk until I go over how to handle it,” said Mitzel who has served 20 years with the district. “That way you won’t break it. But if something does break that will be an accident, and accidents sometime happen.”
    Mitzel emphasized his class was a place to have fun.
    “If you are having a bad day when you arrive please leave it outside the door,” Mitzel said. “I want you to have a good time in here. … I want you to all smile because I don’t like ‘grumpy face.’”
    Assistant Superintendent Kevin Finefrock visited Green Primary on the first day. He had been principal there for several years and was he was excited to see how opening day was a going.
    Numerous students said ‘hi’ to the popular principal conjuring a smile from Finefrock.
    “It was nice to see all the students,” Finefrock later said. “But I will miss interacting with them and the staff.”
    Finefrock noted he was impressed with how nice the building looked on the first day.
    “The custodians here and all the other buildings did a great job getting the buildings ready for the start of the school year,” Finefrock said. “They did an outstanding job. We received a lot of compliments from the staff and parents about their efforts.”