Hugs and high-fives as the school year arrives


As the yellow school buses pulled into the West Tisbury School lot on the first day of school, and eager parents greeted each other to ask about summers, the feeling of excitement and anticipation outweighed any sense of nerves.

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, children all across the Island returned to school. At West Tisbury, those students had beaming smiles as they flew off the school bus to chat with their friends and teachers after a long, hot summer.

Teachers and faculty stood at the front of the school to say “Hi” to many students they knew, and introduce themselves to those they didn’t.

“Happy first day!” Principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt called to every student that passed by. It truly was a happy first day, as parents grinned while watching their children buzz around to various groups of friends.

School librarian Stephanie Dreyer even brought her horse to welcome all the students back.

Barbara Binder teaches kindergarten and second grade at the West Tisbury School. She said the feeling of starting up the school year is always a unique mix of excitement and nervousness.

“A parent just asked me if that feeling ever goes away. I told them, ‘Never,’” Binder said.

Sam Zack, a seventh grade student, said he looks forward to getting good grades and playing sports.

For Quinn Littlefield, this was not only his first day as an eighth grader, it was his first day at the West Tisbury School. He moved to the Island from Wrentham, where he went to a large middle school outside Boston.

When asked what he expects from his first day, he said, “I’m not sure, I have never been to a small school before, so we will see.”

Nonie Madison, mother of two West Tisbury students (fourth and sixth grade), said she loves seeing the children’s reactions as they step off the bus. “It is so great to see the kids get excited about being back,” she said.

For one teachers’ assistant, Carmen Creanga, the feeling of the first day of school was especially new and exciting. It was Creanga’s first day working for the school since she moved here from Romania. “I share many of the same feelings the students have,” Creanga said.

“It is my very first day at this school, so I feel nervous and excited too.”

Creanga said she is enthusiastic about meeting the kids and seeing their smiling faces. “I think you can only be happy and optimistic around all these joyful children; how can you feel any other way?” she said.