Celebrating the first day of school is one of my favorite things. It reminds me of my own excitement as a child moving to a new grade at school. I know that a tremendous amount of work and effort went into making the start of the 2018-2019 school year successful and I enjoyed visiting and spending time with many people who played a role in the first day of school at Washoe County School District.
Like many of you, I had an early start joining the staff at the Getto Transportation Center. Transportation’s Rick Martin and Chris Mulhern hosted us while the school bus drivers were preparing their buses and leaving to start their routes. The District transports around 20,000 students back and forth to school every day! It was a pleasure for the trustees and myself to talk to and wave to the drivers as they headed out to pick up students.
I joined Principal Dr. Victoria Roybal at Vaughn Middle School. We talked to families as they were arriving at school and joined the students assembled outside waiting to head to their classes. The seventh graders were figuring out the routine while the eighth graders were comfortable and ready to go. We visited Hugo Guillen’s eighth grade Individuals and Societies class and Gene Mares’ seventh grade science class. The students were receiving and learning how to operate the new laptops that they will be using this school year.
At Wooster High School, we had a ‘Super Heroes’ welcome. Principal Leah Keuscher and her team were all wearing capes and masks so they can be Super Heroes for the Wooster students throughout the school. Student leaders Esmerelda and Alissa led us on our tour to visit classrooms. The students also did a Facebook Live with us. Be sure to check it out on the District’s Facebook page!
When I arrived at Echo Loder Elementary School, classes had already started. Principal Dina Ciaramella took me to meet all of her sixth graders. We visited all three classrooms and saw the students working on a collaborative Preventative/Reactive Solutions lesson. The students were discussing solutions, ideas, resources, and benefits concerning issues they may encounter. The students had some very clever ideas.
At North Valleys High School, Principal Jeana Curtis and I started in the Leadership class. It was great to see these students again. I enjoyed their enthusiasm and we did a fun group picture with a special visitor, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who joined us at NVHS. Be sure to see the group picture below! We also visited students in AP Calculus and Earth Science classes.
Alice Smith Elementary School, one of our three Multi-Track Year-Round (MTYR) schools, started their new school year with the students and staff on Blue, Purple, and Yellow tracks. Principal Arch Ruth and I visited students in second- and sixth grade classrooms. We visited the lunchroom and saw the SEL work being done to support school community spirit. Students and staff had a short summer break of nine days but were all ready for an exciting new school year.
My final visit was at O’Brien STEM Academy. New principal Melynda Baker greeted us in her Super Hero shirt continuing their theme again this year of “Heroes in the Hall.” I visited sixth-, seventh-, eighth grade, and pre-k classrooms. I participated in a get-to-know-you lesson in one classroom and really enjoyed seeing the parent engagement in the pre-K class.
My sincere thanks to all of the principals, administrative teams, support staff, teachers, and students who hosted us. You had a lot going on and still made us feel so welcome and we really enjoyed sharing this special day with you. I also very much appreciate the participation by so many of our board members, elected officials, and community supporters. It is always a pleasure to highlight the amazing work accomplished in our schools. I know this will be a great year for all of our schools, staff, and students.