SOUTHINGTON - Several proud parents praised Derynoski Elementary School while dropping off their youngsters for their first day of classes Thursday.
Balloons festooned the school sign to welcome the students. Children smiled as they strapped on their new backpacks and marched off to begin their academic year.
Kenny Stetson was dropping off his son, Ryan, who was starting fourth grade. Ryan said his favorite thing about school is gym.
“My favorite sport is lacrosse,” he said.
Kenny Stetson said the school is “perfect” for his child.
“They have great faculty and staff and great after care too,” he said.
Erika Soto dropped off her daughter Aviana, who is starting kindergarten, and her son Jainathien, who is starting second grade. Aviana said her favorite thing about school is getting to play, while Jainathien said he likes math.
“We just moved to town from Hartford,” said Soto. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about this town and this school and I wanted to give my kids the best education that I can.”
Catherine Rusch brought her son Henry, who is going into second grade, and her daughter Mary, who is starting kindergarten. Henry said his favorite subject is math. Mary likes “everything.”
“They do a good job here for the kids,” said Rusch. “The teachers are outstanding and they provide wonderful activities and extracurricular activities. They make school fun for them.”
Principal Jan Verderame said the first day went smoothly.
“We planned for it all summer, ever since school got out,” she said. “The teachers have been coming in all summer to get their classrooms ready. We had our ‘boo-hoo breakfast,’ where parents of kindergartners come in and have coffee and we introduce them to the school. The kids are always a little more quiet on the first day and they’re always dressed to the nines but they are pretty excited to begin another year.”
Tim Connellan, the superintendent of schools, said that he went to every school building Thursday. He also said that things went “very smoothly.”
“There are a lot of smiling faces, both children and adults,” he said. “It was a good and exciting day and a lot of fun.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.