An emotional beginning as Manchester's schools open
Lisa Zonfrillo hugs daughter Amelia while picking her up from her first day of kindergarten at Jewett Street School in Manchester on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
"It kept Amelia company," said her mother, Lisa, who showed up 25 minutes early to pick up her 5-year-old daughter at Jewett Street School.
"I was more neurotic than she was," Mom said.
About 15,000 children returned to the city's nearly two-dozen schools for a school year that will feature more instructional hours but only 175 calendar days.
Not everybody felt as enthusiastic in middle school.
McCullough said seventh-graders, now in their second year in middle school, are "a little more emboldened but not as cocky as the eighth-graders."
One Hillside student wore a T-shirt that read "Keep Calm & Ask Your Mom."
"A new school year, meeting new friends and do new things," the 14-year-old said while waiting for her father, Chris, to register her at Memorial High School.
Inside Memorial High's Room 409, chemistry teacher Pauline Thibeault made a test tube of liquid bubbles, tying it in with the fire on the Hindenburg zeppelin that killed 35 aboard in 1937. Most kids didn't venture a guess of why hydrogen helped create the bubbles.
"I saw a few little ones with tears," said Livingston, a former middle school teacher.
"It's pretty neat — one generation to another," he said.
"We're going to hit Chuck E. Cheese or take him wherever he wants to go," Doucet said. "It's his day. Whatever he wants."
Jewett Street School parent John Sullivan had a high school freshman, Kaila, and a kindergarten rookie, Sante, starting school this year.
Asked whether he liked school or home better, the boy said: "I choose both."
He gets the best of both worlds: morning kindergarten and afternoons home.
"I don't know if it could if you're not registered," said his father, Craig.
Someone who knows about perfect attendance is MST student Mulone. He's aiming for his fifth straight perfect year.
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