Marysville students return to school | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — The first day of the 2012-13 school year at the Marysville School District saw enrollment figures holding relatively steady while a few new wrinkles entered the classrooms.

According to Jodi Runyon, executive assistant to the superintendent, the counts of 2,967 high school students and 2,495 middle school students on Wednesday, Sept. 5, were about the same as the first day of the 2011-12 school year, while the 4,069 non-kindergarten elementary school students who were counted that day were slightly down from last year.

“The first four days of the school year we physically count every child in a seat,” said Runyon, who expressed enthusiasm for the programs that made their debut in the district this year, from the iPads in the classrooms of the 10th Street Middle School to the new teacher evaluation system in which several instructors are participating.

Totem Middle School saw a number of first-time students checking in before the 7:45 a.m. bell on Wednesday, including seventh-grader Mya Tupper, who recently moved from Tacoma.

“There’s no uniforms here, so we’re pretty stoked about that,” said Tupper’s mom Lisa. “It’s great to see these kids able to express themselves.”

Although the Tuppers were preparing for a new school year at a new school, their routine was familiar to many veteran Marysville School District families, who went to bed early and laid out their clothes the night before — both parents and kids alike.

“You want to dress decently so you don’t embarrass your kids,” Lisa Tupper said. “First impressions are important.”

“I made sure to dress cute,” said Mya   Tupper, whose primary priorities for her first day were to get her class schedule down pat and make new friends.

While Heidi McGrath is a longtime Marysville parent, sixth grade at Totem marked a significant transition for her son, Ashton Whitney-Bajema, who had attended the Marysville Cooperative Education Program for the previous four years.

“My tummy’s a little upset today,” McGrath laughed. “He’s used to having me in his classes from the Co-op, so this is a whole new ball game for him. He adjusts really well, though.”

Over at Sunnyside Elementary School, the Schweitzbergers found they’d gotten a little too familiar with their back-to-school routine from previous years.

“We got all her school supplies and woke up early,” said mom Naqiah, whose daughter Alawna started second grade this year. “We were just a little confused this morning because the bus routes were totally different from last year. The bus stop used to be right by our house.”

Naqiah and husband Jesse were nonetheless all smiles as they found out their new route, while Alawna Schweitzberger agreed with Riley Riba, who started third grade this year, that their favorite part of going back to school is being reunited with old friends.

For Chuck and Kathy Carter, who bid farewell to all three of their children at Sunnyside on Sept. 5, the day was especially memorable.

“It’s our 14th wedding anniversary today, so we’re going to have some fun,” Chuck Carter said.

That brief break aside, the Carters make a point of being involved in their kids’ school, from visiting them during lunchtimes to helping out with homework and volunteering for extracurricular activities.

This school year also marks Rhonda Moore’s first as Sunnyside’s new principal, and she felt as welcomed as her students.

“Everyone has just reached out to me,” Moore said. The staff even gave me a cook-out. I’ve got no complaints.”

Moore noted that Sunnyside staff also conducted a welcome barbecue for its families in conjunction with their PTSA, and added that the custodial staff worked through Labor Day to make sure the school facilities were immaculate.

“We all want these kids to feel that this is a warm, safe environment,” Moore said.


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