Woodbury Elementary Teachers Prep for New School Year

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As many South Jersey students are getting ready to go back to school this week, they’re not the only ones preparing for a new year.

Empty halls lined Woodbury’s West End Memorial Elementary School for most of the summer. 

But now, with only a couple of days left until the 2017 school year officially begins here, there’s a new bustle around the building.

“Once August starts to hit, teachers slowly come back and the excitement and momentum for September starts to build,” said Vincent Myers, principal of West End Memorial Elementary School.

Myers says over the last two weeks the teachers have taken over, preparing for a successful 10 months, beyond the first school bell.

“The summer time, right towards the end of August is always, ‘Ahh! School’s back in session!’,” said Christine Abdalla, a first-grade teacher at the school.  

“So I come in, I start looking at the lists, [and] I start personalizing everything.”

And those "first-day jitters" are not just hitting the students who will soon be crowding the classrooms.

“That feeling of excitement [that] you get the chance to touch another group of students every year,” said Kimberly Cheesman, a second-grade teacher at the school. “What other job gets to impact the future?”

“Honestly, [I] just can’t wait to see my new batch of kids that are coming in,” said Abdalla. “See their different personalities, and just to have fun learning.”

With classrooms tidied up and lesson plans finalized, the faculty and staff in this Woodbury school are ready to begin another year of teaching lifelong lessons.

“They’re learning that independence,” said Cheesman. “They’re learning to want to read more, they’re learning to want to write more, they’re just gaining confidence that’s going to help them later on in life.”

And while dozens of kids are prepping for their first day, so is the district’s new superintendent.

“I’m just really excited to get to know everyone and to be a part of the great things that are already happening in this community and this school,” said Lynn DiPietropolo, superintendent of the Woodbury Public School District.

With plenty of surprises and incentives planned for the students, the teachers say they’re most excited for the smiling faces that will soon fill the school.

“Get ready for an exciting school year,” said Myers.

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