Elderton Celebrates Its High School Reopening

Acting Assistant Principal Charles Shoop stands outside the entrance to Elderton Junior-Senior High School greeting students as they arrive for the first day of school yesterday morning.

by David Croyle

A community turned out yesterday to celebrate the reopening of its high school.

Dozens of the town’s people shook hands and applauded as students came off the busses at the Elderton Junior-Senior High School.

Elderton’s Acting Principal Rox Serrao told the WTYM Morning Show yesterday that it was an exciting time.

“Everyone was celebrating. It was wonderful! Everyone was excited. The staff was ready. There were balloons out front welcoming the students, the teachers and all the staff. There were huge banners out in front of the school. Elderton High School is on the prowl and ready to go! The kids were being greeted off the busses like celebrities from everybody. People cheered.”

Serrao commended teachers for their efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

“They are very excited. We had teachers here every night late. I had asked Administration and they were cooperative in giving us extended time to keep the building open for them. I did a walk through Sunday night. Every room was immaculate and ready to go for learning. Teachers have all their materials. They were coming to me making requests all in the interest of the students. It was great!”

The back-to-school celebration for the first day wasn’t an easy task as the acting principal took preparations very personally!

The Elderton "Bobcat" greeted students as they got off the bus yesterday morning for the reopening of Elderton Junior-Senior High School.

“When you start blowing up 500 balloons, it takes awhile. Then we had worry overnight about them deflating. One of the things that was on my head last night was ‘Are my balloons going to be okay today?’ And they were! It was so hot last evening that some of them would pop. I secured a tank of helium on my own for the building and each teacher put some helium balloons in their classroom to welcome the kids.”

The town’s people turned out as if it was a grand opening for a new business.

“Education is business. It is serious business. They are taking it very seriously,” Serrao quickly responded.

The Armstrong School District school board voted last December to reopen Elderton High School after the previous board voted to close it and route students to the three other local high schools.

As the acting principal, Serrao said he is not getting involved in the squabbles of politics that have surrounded the reopening of the school.

“I have put all that aside and I am focusing my energy on the task at hand. I have talked to the teachers. We are open. Here we are. We are making it the best for the kids. That is exactly the sentiments and the climate. There is a real good energy in the building. I like it! I can feel it from the kids that are coming up and saying hello to me and introducing themselves and I am introducing myself to them. You can feel that positive stir as the kids came in.”

Serrao said two school board directors were also visiting the school as it reopened yesterday.

Family and friends turned out to welcome students back to Elderton Junior-Senior High School yesterday morning.