Back To School At Pittston Area

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PITTSTON -- It's the day some students dreaded and their parents eagerly anticipated: some schools across our area opened Monday morning.

It was a scene repeated over and over again as buses pulled up to Pittston Area Middle School.

Inside, the main task was getting students where they needed to be, checking names, classroom assignments, and directions.

Stephen Fath is entering sixth grade.

"I like science and social studies and social, like what happened during the 1700s."

Stephen got where he needed to be to start the science and social studies ball rolling.

The same applies to the 1,000 other students, grades fifth through eight.

For English teacher Linda Dessoye, this is her last first day of school. She retires at the end of this school year. Mrs. Dessoye said children haven't changed much during her 30-plus years in the classroom

"Students are students. Children are children. This seventh grade, puberty age, they go through the same trials and tribulations that you and I did," Dessoye said.

But techniques, and technology certainly have and she views this last first day as "bittersweet."

Right now, it's just the opening day jitters, getting assignments, finding classrooms, and it seems to be one of the most daunting tasks of all: getting into your locker.

They had their combinations and locker numbers on hand. Some picked it up faster than others. Everyone eventually got it figured out.

"I'm excited and I love school," said seventh grader Alexa Artmont.

"You do? What do you want to be when you get out?"

"(An) author, teacher, or doctor," Alexa replied.

She has her career choice figured out. The locker combination is next.

Patrick Bilbow is the principal. He sees his main task as helping students feel comfortable with their surroundings.

"We try to have everything in place for them. We want it to go as smoothly as we can for the students, and overall we want it to be an enjoyable start."

Principal Bilbow feels day one is the key. He says it students feel comfortable on the first day, they'll be happy throughout the school year.