County school bells signal excitement for staff, students

For the CDTAugust 29, 2013 

Some Centre County students started back to school this week while other schools are preparing for the doors to open next week.

On Tuesday, State College Area High School students started the year with a large pep rally-style assembly, kids being whipped up for the new year by the marching band and cheerleaders. That led to two days of activity fairs and more orientation. Principal Scott DeShong said the goal is to orient the kids a step at a time.

“I think the first day, we slowed things down a lot, gave the kids a chance to find their way. There was more academic routine today and we should be up to speed by the end of the week,” he said. “It’s never easy to get started again, but the teachers are teachers because they love what they do. The energy level is very high.”

Down Westerly Parkway at Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School, CEO Levent Kaya sees high spirits, too.

“Welcoming students at the door in the morning has always been my source of positive energy and excitement,” said Kaya, who starts his day waving and giving thumbs-up to incoming students and high-fiving parents. YSCP has 280 students enrolled this year, up 16 percent from 2012-13.

At State College Friends School, Mary Ziegler said they have had a smooth, but exhausting, start.

“First days will do that,” she said. “First days never get old. It’s the energy. It’s so full of hope and optimism.”

At Penns Valley Intermediate, Principal Kurt Nyquist is still working on getting things ready for students to return next week. Teachers have come back for some training and in-service, but many were already in the building to get their rooms ready.

“We’re looking for the sounds of kids in the halls. It gets quiet in the summer,” he said.

Teachers and students aren’t the only ones that look forward to back-to-school. Parents do, too.

“We are fielding a lot of phone calls and I would say that there is a lot of excitement building as the school year rapidly approaches,” said Bald Eagle Area High School Principal Dave Reichelderfer. It’s an excitement he shares.

“I very much am looking forward to my 33rd year of ‘starting school’ as an educator and look forward to seeing the students on Tuesday morning.”

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