Waving goodbye to a school year of challenges, rewards

Jun 17, 2021

Buses at Potter School rolled down the driveway and into the summer, as students ended the school year June 17.

But they didn’t leave quietly. 

Teachers sported brightly colored signs, used hand clappers and yelled goodbyes and words of encouragement as the students departed for the year.

This last-day-of-class celebration has become a Potter School tradition, principal Rick Porter noted. 

The festivities capped off a year that was hardly traditional. Literacy coach Lisa Medeiros said that the year was “a roller coaster for sure.’’

“We did things we never thought we would do,’’ math specialist Kristin Daggett added. 

Daggett noted that teachers gave lessons on Zoom, covered each other’s classes if someone was absent, and worked on “building relationships from the other side of a screen.”

“It was challenging but at the same time it was inspiring,’’ she said.

Porter agreed that his school rose to the challenge of teaching in such an unprecedented year. 

“We found rainbows despite the rain,’’ he said. “The kids were great, the staff was great — the entire community rose to the challenge.’’

Kindergarten teacher Kristin Santangelo said she and her colleagues worked hard and “made it a happy year for the kids.”

Returning to full in-person learning in March was a highlight for first grader Aryanna Braley, her mother Gale Braley said.  “She liked coming back and being with her teachers and friends.’’

As they take time to catch their breath, teachers are also looking ahead to a traditional school year come the fall.

“It will be nice,’’ Santangelo said, “to see the smiling faces behind the masks.’’

In the meantime, summer beckons and Aryanna Braley said she plans to make a splash. “I want to go in the pool.”