Weekly Letter (Sep 8 ’15)

Dear Parents and Students,

Last week I asked four individuals to write brief essays for me. The prompt was, “There is nothing quite like the first day of school …” Here are their essays. One from a Grandmother, one from a Dad, one from a Teacher, and one from an eighth grade student.


 There’s nothing quite like the first day of school.  The long summer days are done and the excitement of a new school year has begun.  Thrilled to see classmates again; hoping my new teacher will like me; wondering if more homework is even possible… the list goes on and on and on. Ahhh…that first day in a new uniform, new shoes and bookbag (backpacks now) and I am ready and full of joy for another year.

I’m sure my grandchildren have similar feelings and questions and excitement about the starting of the school year. And I smile as I witness another generation full of excitement and experiencing the joy of childhood.

We are all a little nervous at first; child, parent, teacher and grandparent too. I remember that any fears I had at school faded quickly with a friendly smile, a kind word or taking my hand.  As much as things have changed from new technology, curriculum, parenting and teaching styles, that first day of school still brings a smile to my face.

I am excited and happy to entrust my precious grandchildren to the warm arms of STAR.

Maria Little, Grandmother K,4


 As the new school year gets in motion, I have to say that it is fun to see all the Facebook posts from all the parents of the kids in front of colorful handmade signs saying “I’m in 7th grade now.”  I know from my own experience that my wife Christy posted several photos of our boys, (Ryder and Riley), on our front steps. Both boys were sporting staged frowns that signified the party is over.

Going “Back to School” means trips to the stores for uniforms, school supplies, lunch boxes, and new backpacks.  It means reveling in all of the excitement and nervousness that precedes the start of the new school year.  For this Dad, it also means reflecting on the inevitable ticking of the clock that continues to transform our kids and move them closer to adulthood.  Where did the time go, how is it they’re growing up so fast?  It’s an opportunity to pause, to gather up the memories even closer to our hearts, and just allow us to be reminded of the precious gift of this time with our children.  The start of school means fresh book covers that won’t last more than two weeks, fresh-pressed blue uniform pants that are sure to come home with holes on day one, and finally, being reunited with our school family: our beloved teachers & administrators, the parents and kids that we didn’t get to see during the break.

The first day of school means that Geary Boulevard becomes a traffic nightmare with everything from SUVs, Hybrids, Minivans and cars sporting either a pink mustache or big black and white “U”.

It means Starbucks is jam-packed from 6am to 7pm.

It means another last place finish in my Fantasy Football Season is about to begin.

It means getting bombarded with kids in uniforms standing in front of the local Safeway selling cookies that I will never eat.

It means shuttling kids between basketball and soccer practice.

It means living 5 minutes from school but always being 2 minutes late.

It means trying to figure out how to do 7th grade math again. Thank You, Google!

But what the first day really means for me as a Dad is this…

Happiness. My children are healthy and happy and couldn’t be more at home here at Star. We are blessed to have stumbled upon the best school in the city – with a staff and faculty that were sent from heaven, kids that take care of each other, a community of great friends, sounds of laughter on the playground, and of course, the sound of that darn bell that signals “Back to School”!

Ryan Brooks, Father 5,7


The first day of school is the first day of my New Year, every year! The weeks prior to that first day are filled with joyful expectation, intense preparation, and anticipation. Incoming eighth graders challenge me in height, seventh graders surprise me with maturity, and sixth graders are a mystery to be discovered. I am a new teacher beginning again with new ideas, new plans, and new projects born of the long lazy summer where reading and relaxing have replenished my energy and given a new vision. The first day is full of joy and hope, promise and expectation. It is clean and fresh, washed and pressed, buzzing with energy, brimful of goodness, goodwill, hope and joy.

Mrs. Lundy, Vice Principal, Teacher 6-8


Ah, yes, the chaotic first day of school. Some people dread it, others find joy, somehow. For me, it’s a bit of both. You worry about all the work that comes with it, but also rejoice in seeing old faces, friends, teachers, maybe both. (I mean, I honestly have no idea what other people are thinking, so this is just me guessing.)

As an eighth grader, it is a special day, okay, relatively special day.  It marks your last year and the last chance to make a lasting impression on your school. It’s where you can make a difference.

Inspirational quotes aside, which by the way I am copyrighting right now, the New School Year of 2015-2016 brings other changes. Some sad, some happy, eye of the beholder, as they say. Friends come and go, teachers join and leave, and you make new friends. Cycle of, uh, school life? Probably something equally as memorable.

The second you step into the newly painted school building, or even the battered up yard, a whole new stage of your life begins. Throughout that stage, you will lose, um, stuff, you will gain some, but regardless, it’s a magical day, where you make new relationships, and mend some old ones. It is a day where God enters your life and changes it.

Wow, that was a mouthful. But you didn’t think that was the ending of my totally inspirational speech, did you? Well, once that first day comes, your story’s only just begun.

Brandon Lo, 8th grade student

Thanks to each of our “guest writers.” And I hope you all have a great week!



Terrence Hanley


Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.