Students and staff at 100 Mile Elementary School said ‘goodbye’ to their summer holidays when they headed back to class for a half-day on Tuesday, Sept. 3 with plenty of smiles and lots of sunshine, too.
The school’s principal Maria Telford said students and staff were all excited to reconnect after the summer apart.
“It was awesome to feel the positive energy charging our school in anticipation for the year to come. The first day back is truly one of my favourite days of the year. We are a strong school community and I am very proud to [be] part of it.”
Telford returned for a second year as principal at 100 Mile Elementary and is excited to continue working with the staff, students and families in the community to learn and grow together.
“This year we have welcomed two new teachers to the community,” said Telford. “We are currently working to secure a French Immersion teacher for our Grade 6/7 class.”
Mme. Odegard is the new Grade 4/5 French Immersion teacher, while Ms. Ogle is the new Grade 6/7 English teacher.
Telford said that the school is welcoming 37 new kindergarten students and 20 new registrations this year.
Vice principal Shawn Nelson also said the first day back was an awesome one for students and staff alike.
“It was just a terrific first day back,” he said. “So many excited kids to be back at school and seeing their friends, and staff [are] so energized and ready to put another great year in. It’s good.”
Laken Patterson was one of many students who eagerly returned to 100 Mile Elementary on Tuesday. Patterson started his first day in Grade 2, but won’t know who his teacher will be for the year until Wednesday, Sept. 4. He is looking forward to another year of learning but is also excited to have fun with new friends and find out who his new teacher will be.
Siblings Kaitlyn and Kolton Querques are two new students who moved to the community from Langley just a week before school got started this year. Kaitlyn is headed into Grade 5 while her younger brother Kolton is entering Grade 2. Both were excited and a bit nervous to be starting at their new school, but they weren’t alone.
Caroline Odegard is one of the new teachers at the elementary this year and came to 100 Mile House after teaching Grades 1 and 2 in Abbotsford.
“I’ll be teaching Grade 4-5, French Immersion,” she said, adding that she was drawn to the country lifestyle and calmness of the South Cariboo when she chose to move here.
Odegard looks forward to living and working in the community. She already met a few new students on the first day during a French and English inclusion exercise at the school.
“This [was] a nice exercise,” she said. Odegard has focused on teaching French in the past. On Sept. 4 she will meet all the new students who will be in her French Immersion class this year. The class will include between 24 and 28 children.
So far, Odegard said that everyone has been very welcoming to her: “From admin to the teachers, even the kids.”
Nelson said that the school community is more than happy to have new people coming in.
“This is a great school with a great sense of community.”
Ximena Cibrian will enter Grade 7 this year, which means that she will embark on her final year of school at 100 Mile Elementary. Cibrian spent a good part of her summer at the lake and has attended the elementary since Kindergarten.
She said school in 100 Mile House has always been lots of fun and she will miss the elementary when she leaves.
“High school will be way harder,” she said, adding that when she graduates from Grade 7 at the end of this year, she will miss playing sports with her friends the most.