Westwood returns to school

It’s that time again. Students make their way to classes on the first day of school in Westwood.

By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Contributor

From students getting ready for their first day of sixth grade at the Thurston Middle School to seniors preparing for their last first day in the Westwood school system at the high school, Nahatan Street bustled with first-day nerves and excitement last Tuesday.

The clanging of lockers filled hallways as friends greeted each other with high fives, hugs and fist bumps. Students looked fresh in their new back-to-school clothes as they prepared for the new year of learning to begin.

In addition to it being the students first day of classes, at the middle school, it was the first day for Principal Michael Redmon.

“My focus for the year is to go through everything once as a new principal and get as much information as possible that will help me in the future,” asserted Principal Redmon. “For them, I just hope that they are successful and they have a really engaging, academic school year.”

The calm before the storm. The Westwood High School library will soon be inundated with students reading books, working on projects, and doing homework.

The calm before the storm. The Westwood High School library will soon be inundated with students reading books, working on projects, and doing homework.

For some of the youngest students at the middle school, it can be a big transition. To go from the comfort of their old elementary school to joining all the other sixth graders from across town at the middle school can be an adjustment.

Jen Teahan one of the sixth grade math teachers at Thurston, tries to make sure that the new kids know they are in a safe environment, while also pushing them to be the best students they can be.

“I think the transition for sixth graders is definitely a challenge, but after a few days, they definitely understand that we are here to support, keep them safe, and make sure it is a welcoming environment,” said Teahan while walking to her first class. “So I think there is an excitement embedded with the nerves, but they overcome it very quickly and it becomes their school.”

Senior girls get ready for their last first day at Westwood High.

Senior girls get ready for their last first day at Westwood High.

Down the road, freshmen readied themselves for their first day of high school, once again small fish in a big pond. Seniors in the school, who can already see the finish line of their high school experience, buzzed with excitement.

Athletic Director Matthew Gillis looks forward to the return of the students, when the dormant high school of summertime transforms itself back into the bustling hot-spot of the school season.

Students in the middle school walk to class on the first day.

Students in the middle school walk to class on the first day.

“It’s always an exciting day; the seniors coming in, starting off senior year is always exciting for them. The freshman class are all nervous about going to a new school and what is high school like,” said Gillis as he greeted students arriving inside the lobby.

Katherine Clifford, a math teacher at Westwood High School, looks forward to the return of the students as she help prepare this incoming group of seniors for their next step.

“As the senior class advisor, it is fun to see the seniors come back with a fresh energy for their last year,” she said.

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