St Rose Welcomes Students To 2018-19 School Year
The 2018-19 school year began on August 29 for St Rose of Lima School, and Principal Bardhyl Gjoka said the day was filled with smiles.
“Our morning began greeting the children outside as they arrived by bus and car. Their smiles bright, dressed in their uniforms, carrying new backpacks filled with supplies ready for the year; you could feel that they were ready to be back and get the new year started,” Mr Gjoka said in an e-mail on August 30.
Mr Gjoka began serving as the principal at St Rose on July 1. He replaced Sister Colleen Therese Smith, who served as principal at St Rose since the 2014-15 academic year. For Mr Gjoka, August 29 was the first day of his principalship with students filling classrooms and hallways.
Once the school day began on August 29, Mr Gjoka said students settled in the school’s Gathering Hall. St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church Pastor Monsignor Robert Weiss lead the students in a prayer and a pledge during the assembly.
“We begin and end each of our days with prayer and pray throughout our day to remind the children that they are here, where Christ is the center of all we do,” Mr Gjoka explained. “As the new principal, I shared some of my expectations for the year and told them I know that they can meet these because having the best year is our priority.”
He spent the first day of school visiting classrooms and getting to know the children, and he said it was the best part of his day.
“I have spent time getting to know the faculty and getting a feel for the school, but on the first day, it all came together when the children arrived; it is why we are here,” he said.
He added, “I saw great hope in that first day; it was evident when I visited the classrooms. The children were already forming their classroom communities, and you could feel the connections they were creating with their teachers. If you watched the students or stopped to greet them, their radiant smiles and happy accounts of their day told us that we are headed in the right direction. Working together, making those relationships, is where we must begin. We want our children to feel safe and loved from the time they enter the doors each morning until they leave at the end of their day. We are giving our children structure and teaching them the importance of kindness and respect; we begin by making sure that we provide the climate and culture that gives them a daily experience, each day of the school year, that they deserve as a student in a Catholic school.”
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