By Julie Huss and James Niedzinski @by2:, Staff writers
---- — There was a little rain, a few tears and some new faces. But there were no major upsets Tuesday when Derry and Londonderry students kicked off a new school year.
South Range Elementary School hosted the PTA’s annual “Boo Hoo” event for parents who weren’t quite ready to declare summer over.
“Anyone can come,” PTA officer Jennifer Cerino said. “We also give out information for our meetings.”
Mary Cappotto attends every year. Her daughter is now in third grade.
“Every year, on the first day of school, I’m here,” she said. “By the second week of school, I’m happy.”
There are some new faces in Derry school leadership roles.
Kim Carpentino is settling in as East Derry Memorial School principal, moving over from an assistant role at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.
There are two new assistant principals— Andrew Chouinard at East Derry and Susan Gualtieri at Gilbert H. Hood.
While students and staff members took some time off, custodial crews were hard at work.
“I’m sure all our schools look good,” Derry Village Elementary principal Steve Miller said. “Ours does, too. We need to give our thanks to the custodial staff. They really deserve that.”
Paving, painting and cleaning were widespread. There are new bathrooms at Gilbert. H. Hood and West Running Brook middle schools. West Running Brook has a new gym floor.
Pinkerton Academy opened its doors Tuesday with approximately 3,100 students, including 750 freshmen and 60 transfers from other districts.
The biggest change on campus this year is the Career and Technical Education construction project.
Construction will continue while school is in session. Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said construction vehicles will access the site far away from any pedestrian areas.
Any work that might be a safety concern would be done outside school hours.
Nearly 4,700 Londonderry students also returned to school Tuesday.
There are eight new teachers in the Londonderry School District, most at the middle school.
“A big focus this year for us is college readiness,” Superintendent Nathan Greenberg said.