The Port Washington School District packed their pencils, donned their backpacks and jumped on the school bus to head off to the first day of school on Sept. 4.
Guggenheim Elementary School was the ultimate sight for back to school excitement early in the day. Just before school officially began for the day, around 8 a.m., students and parents were greeted at the door by the school’s new principal Dr. Kimberly Licato, new Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes and the Guggenheim mascot.
The day began with the kids on the playground, instead of just having all of the kids congregate in the cafeteria.
“I had studied in the Finland schools as part of my dissertation and I saw the importance of playtime for students,” said Licato, who also explained that this year’s theme at Guggenheim is to “Be Mindful.” “In the past, the students were in the cafeteria or gym when they arrived to school, and I figured this was a great chance for them to play, interact and socialize with their peers.”
“I thought it was a great idea instead of having everyone cooped up in the cafeteria. She wants to try something new, which I appreciate,” Hynes said. “I think everyone is receptive to it. I think it’s great to have kids outside before school. It definitely starts their day on a good note.”
The two shared their favorite things about the first day of school.
“Seeing the kids walk into the building and watching the staff greet them, it’s pure love and happiness,” said Hynes. “I always say my favorite day or the year is the first day of the school and my second favorite day of the year is graduation, watching everyone be emotional and embracing our education system. This is as good as it gets.”
“Just seeing the kids because they’re just amazing, their smiles are just infectious,” added Licato.
Throughout the rest of the day, Hynes visited each of the elementary schools, Weber Middle School and Schreiber High School.
“When I go to the schools I’ll stop in all the classrooms at every one of the schools,” said Hynes. “Probably around 30,000 steps of walking and meeting people. This is my first school, so to be honest, I was a little nervous coming here. I actually felt like one of the kindergartners coming in, but I didn’t have a mom to drop me off. It was wonderful meeting the parents and the parents are so opening, receptive and I felt an instant connection.”