First day of school arrives for North End

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

KINGSTON — Pupils at the brand new Kingston High School experienced quite an eye-opener Wednesday as they took their first tours through hallways, classrooms and commons.

The first day of school had arrived and with it, the wake up from a dream seven years in the making.

And while students throughout the county were joining the Buccaneers in hitting the books once again, the newly opened high school was definitely the focal point for the North Kitsap School District.

The emotion of having the bells ring for class at KHS for the first time even left the often loquacious NKSD Supt. Gene Medina at a loss for words.

“There’s no words to express how incredible this is today,” said Medina, who was present at KHS for its opening day. “There were so many people who put in so much time and energy into this school. It’s just outstanding.”

Before class chimed in, students were scattered throughout the building, trying to locate their classes for the first time.

“We were supposed to start all of our classes about seven minutes ago,” said KHS health teacher and athletic trainer Marja Larsen at approximately 8:07 a.m. “We had staff, ASB and cheerleaders helping students find their classes. A lot of the kids were getting lost trying to find their classrooms. Nothing is familiar to them yet. For ninth and 10th graders, this is the first time they ever have been in high school before. It’s always good to have an extra friendly face showing students where they need to go.”

KHS athletic director Dan Novick, who in August said the first few days of the 2007-08 school year would be crucial to ensuring success for KHS, said everything Wednesday was going well.

“We are very aware the first minutes, hours and days are going to set the tone for the rest of the school year,” he said. “It’s a pretty exciting opportunity.”

Larsen agreed.

“This group of kids get to start everything from the beginning. They get to start the traditions,” she said. “I don’t think all of them have realized that yet.”

Among the tradition starters, KHS senior Tim Rose said he is hoping to earn good grades in his final year of high school.

“I want to get as good of grades as I can this year so I can go to a good college,” he said. “It is an important year.”

Courtnie Peterson, a KHS junior, is aiming to make the grade at KHS, and isn’t looking forward to her learning strategies course.

“The class basically is a class where you learn how to study,” she said. “I don’t really need to be in this class but I can’t change out of it now. I am looking forward to this school year though. I will get to meet new friends and people.”

One of the people she probably met Wednesday was KHS girls basketball coach Kevin Strozier, who directed traffic in the parking lots from 7:15 to 8:10 a.m.

“Everything went along smoothly today,” he said. “I hope everything can go as smoothly as the first day here did. The atmosphere was great today. Everyone seems excited. I’m looking forward to a really good school year.”

Wolfle Elementary

At Wolfle Elementary School, emotions were running high as parents dropped off their younger children at school.

“It’s going to be quiet out at my house,” said parent Daniel DeCoteau while seeing his third grade daughter, Isabella, off on her first day of class. “Part of me is disappointed for her to be back at school. I am self employed and spend a lot of time with her.”

Even so, he remained upbeat.

“I’m excited for her to go back to school and reunite with her teachers and friends,” he said. “She will get back into the curriculum and get her mind rolling in the classroom again.”

Fellow parent Jennifer Bogart felt the same way about her daughter, Sarah, who was also returning to school as a third grader.

“It’s going to be a struggle not having her around all day,” she said. “She loves school and she loves to learn. I think Wolfle is a great school.”

Wolfle Elementary fourth grader Aaron Gumm had mixed feelings about returning to the classroom, but the thought of attending PE brought a smile to his face.

“PE is the funnest thing to do at school,” he said.

When asked about what he will miss most about summer vacation, Gumm replied, “Camping trips and not getting up so early.”

Breidablik Elementary

At Breidablik Elementary School in Poulsbo, Lisa Holt was coming to grips with dropping off her son Chandler for his first day of kindergarten.

“I feel torn. He’s my baby and my youngest, but I’m happy he’s finally old enough to attend school,” she said. “I like the teachers here at Breidablik and know he’ll get a good education here.”

Holt said Chandler wasn’t scared as he walked through the doors of Breidablik.

“He was looking forward to it. His older brother (Cody at KHS) and sister (Cami at KMS) have been in school for a while, so Chandler felt like he was missing out. He’s happy about going to school.”

Breidablik Elementary administrative assistant and recess coordinator Michelle Pecosky shared this sentiment.

“I miss all of these kids over the summer. Recess is a lot of fun,” she said. “With every elementary school losing sixth grade to middle school, this will be a year of transition.”

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