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Day One at Forestville

Forestville Elementary’s welcome back to school worthy of a gold star.

It’s not just the first day for the students. Tuesday was the first day for first grade teacher Nicole Pappas, as well. Pappas taught at Forestville last year as an Instructional Assistant. “I barely slept last night. I’ve been planning and getting ready since I found out last June that I would be teaching here,” said Pappas. “I am really excited. I even had my family helping me set up and decorate the classroom last week.”

It’s not just the first day for the students. Tuesday was the first day for first grade teacher Nicole Pappas, as well. Pappas taught at Forestville last year as an Instructional Assistant. “I barely slept last night. I’ve been planning and getting ready since I found out last June that I would be teaching here,” said Pappas. “I am really excited. I even had my family helping me set up and decorate the classroom last week.” Photo by Andrea Worker.

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Kaly Rapaport of Great Falls is all smiles on her first day as a kindergartner at Forestville Elementary School. The 5-year-old seemed quite confident—and pleased to be the owner of a colorful new backpack.

Miss Genevieve Roberson is obviously ready to start her academic career as a first grader at Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls. No tears today from this young lady on the first day of the new school year. “She actually cried when we left the open house last Thursday,” said mom Maria Roberson. “She thought it was great. She wanted to stay at school then.”

The majority of the incoming “newbies”—kindergarten and first graders—seemed to share Genevieve’s enthusiasm.

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The Roberson family, from left, Dad Ray, third grader Sterling, mom Maria, and Genevieve, who is starting first grade at Forestville Elementary. Genevieve must have gotten some pointers from her older brother. She seemed to already know the drill and was looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.

While there were a few youngsters who looked a bit unsure about this whole “school thing,” most accepted their fates with good grace, some showing off new backpacks, some waving casual goodbyes to tearful moms (and a few dads!), posing for pictures, and checking out the new crop of potential best friends.

Today was also the first day for Principal Todd Franklin, who joins Forestville after seven years at Cooper Middle School in McLean. “I am as excited as the kids are,” said Franklin. “This is a great bunch of teachers, students and staff to be associated with.” Franklin was front and center at the school’s entrance, meeting and greeting everyone with a smile.

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From left—Asst. Principal Marietta Arbach, new Principal Todd Franklin, and Fairfax County Schools District 1 Cluster Director Anita Taylor were all out front to meet the incoming Class of 2014 at Forestville Elementary.

Forestville staff and volunteers all received high marks for execution of the Day One Lesson Plan. The uneducated observer might have seen chaos in the thirty minutes prior to the official PA welcome by Principal Franklin, but if you paid just a bit of attention you could see the method that controlled the madness as students were identified and name-tagged and lined up and welcomed with smiles and hugs. Every eventuality seemed to have been planned for. “I don’t remember my teacher’s name,” one young lady worried with a quaver in her voice. “I don’t know where to go.” Her hand was quickly taken by a staff member, and as she was lead away you could hear the comforting “Sweetie, no problem. You’re never lost here. Let’s find your place.”

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The Warners. Lined up in order and ready for Day One at Forestville Elementary: J.D., kindergarten, Tessa, first grade, and Will, second grade.

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Covering the spectrum, Carley Taylor starts sixth grade, while brother Conner heads into kindergarten.

Even a mechanical issue on one of the school buses didn’t do more than cause a hiccup to the proceedings as the children were safely transferred and arrived before that first bell rang. At 9:35 a.m. on the dot, everyone was properly sorted out and in their places. In the case of Miss Nicole Pappas’s first grade class, they already had crayons in hand and pirate hats on heads before Principal Franklin took to the air waves and led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance—sans pirate hats, of course!

If Day One is any indication, the students at Forestville are set for an A+ school year!