A new beginning
The long summer is slowly creeping to an end for school-aged students across the nation.
Wednesday morning marked the beginning of a new chapter for many local youth as Paddock Lane Elementary School in Beatrice hosted its annual Kindergarten Round-up.
The event serves as an opportunity for incoming kindergarten students and their families to meet their new teachers and see their classrooms.
Paddock Lane will host three kindergarten classes with a combined 62 students this year. The remainder of the district’s 142 kindergarten students will attend Lincoln Elementary.
“Kindergarten, really all elementary children, are so eager and so excited,” said Betty Replogle, principal at Paddock Lane Elementary. “Even if they’ve been to daycare or preschool, kindergarten room is different than any other place. A whole big school is different than any other place.
“I love it when the teachers will bring them around first day of school and they’ll see me or they’ll see the music teacher and they don’t know us as the principal or the teacher, but they’ve seen us at church or in the store or in the bakery. And they’ll get so excited ‘Oh I know you from church or wherever. You know my grandma.’ That is so exciting because they don’t picture us here. It’s like when they find out they know other children in their class. So now their world just got so big.”
Replogle is starting her 39th year as a principal, with 31 of those years in Beatrice.
“It’s like they’re in a dark room and someone just turned on a light and it’s filled with kid things” said Replogle of what her kindergarten students will soon experience. “To see their little faces is so exciting. It is one of the most exciting days of the year for me.”
Becky Frazier, a parent leaving her son, Alex, at kindergarten roundup Wednesdsay, said their family had just moved to Beatrice from Lincoln. She also has a son starting at Beatrice Middle School this year.
“We’re a little nervous, but it’ll be good,” Frazier said.
Others, such as incoming kindergarten student Neeley Duff, were all smiles for the event.
“I am so excited for kindergarten and tomorrow is my birthday,” the youngster exclaimed. “I am going to be six.”
Beatrice Public Schools will begin for students in grades K-9 on Aug. 15. The first day of grades 10-12 and preschool will be Aug. 16.