Delaware City Schools students returned to class Wednesday for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
Richard Stranges, Hayes High School principal, said just after lunch that the school year was “off to a great start.”
“Year after year, I’m amazed at the excitement and anticipation of a new year,” Stranges said Wednesday afternoon between fielding dozens of questions about locker and classroom locations. “And when they come back, it’s just wonderful.”
Stranges said the first day of school “sets the tone” for the whole year, and he added it was important to give students a good first day.
“You can see it on their faces,” Stranges said. “We work all summer to make sure the first day is great for them between making sure their schedules and classes are right.”
Emma Klemanski, a senior, and her sister, Anna, a sophomore, were just two of the 1,700 students learning their new routines and schedules on their first day back.
“It’s gone pretty smoothly,” Emma Klemanski said. “The teachers seem nice!”
Emma Klemanski said she was excited to be in her last year of school, and added she is looking forward to joining the cross country team during her final year at Hayes.
Anna Klemanski said she is excited to be taking her first AP course this year.
The first day of school felt more like homecoming for Keith Butts, who graduated from Hayes in 2011 and returned Wednesday as a teacher.
“It feels great,” Butts said. “There’s a lot of familiar faces. This is a dream come true for me.”
Butts is the APEX instructor at Hayes, which is a course that helps students get the credits to graduate on time and prepare for college. Butts said it’s a “weird” feeling having his former teachers as colleagues, but he’s looking forward to giving back the way teachers he had did.
“They set me straight,” Butts said. “I look forward to doing that with my students. It’s a blessing.”
Butts added he is also excited to help coach the football and basketball teams. Butts said the high school is basically the same as it was when he was a student there except for the new wing.
Delaware City Schools Board of Education Student Member Caroline Binkley said she was looking forward to her last year at Hayes.
“I am so proud of my class and all that we have accomplished,” Binkley said. “I feel an overwhelming sense of community and camaraderie as we plunge into a year of ‘lasts.’ From football games to performances I’m happy to have left my personal horseshoe print on my second home Delaware calls Hayes High School!”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.