Principal Rick Misenti had trouble sleeping Wednesday night. Even before his alarm chimed at 4 a.m. he was up and ready to start the first day of the 2012-2013 school year.
“At 3:30 I was rolling, trying over to see the clock,” said Misenti. “I just got up and came in.”
It was not a case of jitters, anticipating the first day of school, that awakened Misenti, but excitement. “It’s exhilarating!” he said. “It’s the new school year and seeing the kids...it’s seeing teachers getting back to do what they do best. It’s very exciting.”
To make the introduction to the new school easier for incoming freshman, Director of Guidance Tammy Lizotte came up with a unique idea. Class officers, student leaders and administrators wore green lanyards inscribed with “Go Guilford High School.”
“The lanyards were a symbol to our freshman, who were introduced to the lanyard at our freshman orientation, that we were a safe zone,” explained Misenti. If a freshman felt stressed, lost their way in the building or misplaced their daily schedule anyone with a lanyard was ready and willing to assist.
A few students took advantage of the program, seeking help for a lost schedule and directions to the cafeteria and various classrooms.
Opening day was just as smooth on the elementary level, students arriving safely and on time, ready and willing to get right to work. A.W. Cox School Principal Vince Agostine said the difference between last year, his first year in Guilford, and this year is beyond comparison.
“I said to my secretary about 10 o’clock in the morning, ‘It is so orderly. It’s almost eerie,” said Agostine, recalling the events of last year, with opening delays due to Tropical Storm Irene.
Last year Irene canceled open house and made it impossible for teachers to properly prepare their rooms in anticipation of the first day of school. This year was vastly different.
“It just doesn’t compare at all to last year,” said Agostine. “It was so nice. I was in classrooms by 9:30 and kids were working, they were in meetings and they got right into the routine.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul S. Freeman echoed these sentiments. New to the school system last November, this was his first opening day with the Guilford Public Schools.
“I got to all seven schools today,” said Freeman. “We had a fantastic day. We did professional development this week, leading up to it, and it was just wonderful to meet the kids back in the buildings today.”
Although new to Guilford, Freeman has seen his share of first days of school. “I’ve always enjoyed the first day of school. There’s a great enthusiasm, there’s a great energy.”
With a good start to the 2012-13 school year everyone seems prepared and ready to move forward.
“We are all exhausted,” said Agostine. “Looking forward to a good night’s rest and we will start again fresh tomorrow.”