Getting used to new friends, teachers and shoes
“You’ll get used to sneakers,” a mother’s voice rang out in the parking lot at Tomoka Elementary on Thursday, Aug 10.
Behind her a young boy awkwardly lifted his unblemished white sneakers one at a time, trying to keep up.
Mother and son had been to the school to meet his teacher and find his room, like many others. The parking lot and roadway were filled with parents’ cars and classrooms were filled with wide eyes of wonder -- and laughter.
Joseph Parigros clung to his dad, John’s neck as he spoke to Principal Susan Tuten. Parigros, an attorney, was dressed for work, but first there was something he wanted to do with his son.
“I wanted him to have a chance to look around before he started next week,” Parigros said.
Tuten seemed to be everywhere throughout the morning. She welcomed parents, answered questions, and showed off a new reward system which includes a wall-size blackboard that states, “You are our H.E.R.O.s,” and will bear the signatures of the students recognized each week.
Clutching a notebook with her class information, fourth-grade student Cambria Pardue had just moved to the area from Indiana. She and her dad, Steven had one more task – bus routes, but since they live within two miles of the school, they learned there are no bus routes.
As of Thursday, there were 720 students signed up for classes, a number Tuten said would grow by the first day of school.
Many of the students were kindergarteners who had the opportunity to try out their classrooms and some of the learning tools.
Arianna Fitzgibbon was happy to get a snack and a special zip lock bag filled with colorful paper from her teacher Kristin Robinson. She was told she could enjoy the snack but the bag wasn’t to be opened until the night before the first day of school.
One of her classmates, Caleb Chandler sat with his mom on the floor and played with some colorful new plastic “toys” that are used for instruction.
“See you Monday” was heard throughout the campus as the students headed back to enjoy their final days of summer vacation.