NEWINGTON - As families across the state dealt with the stress of school cancellations and impending snow in the early morning Wednesday, parents in Newington got to share a laugh.
The school district’s rapid notification system contacts families around 6 a.m. with any weather-related changes impacting the school day.
That usually means snow, but according to Wednesday’s message from “Rhonda,” something more biblical was in store.
“Around 11 o’clock, according to the news, the skies are supposed to open and locusts will come down and everyone will be crashing into one another,” a woman’s voice informed parents. “To avoid the locusts, schools will be closed today.”
Many took to social media to thank the mysterious “Rhonda,” saying she had brightened up an otherwise stressful morning. “It’s a great way to wake up and have a laugh when your plans have to change,” wrote Donna McGrath McPherson on the district’s Facebook page. “People love it and it puts a positive spin on things. Thank you. The world is too serious, it’s a nice change.”
Kristine Lefurgey added, “Love when Rhonda calls. We have the BEST here in Newington!”
Melissa Devanney not only praised the lighthearted call, but also wanted school officials to know that they made the right decision to cancel classes on Wednesday. “Better to sweat a bit in June than risk lives trying to get them home in the snow,” she said.
The identity of the woman who records the messages for the parent notification system was not disclosed by school officials. Staff in the superintendent’s office said they didn’t know who she is.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, @schmittnbh or firstname.lastname@example.org.