Children pulled on their backpacks and yellow buses filled the streets as Lee County’s 98,000 students returned for their first day of class on Thursday.
Superintendent Gregory Adkins was on hand at Diplomat Middle School in Cape Coral to meet students, teachers, and parents on their first day of school. Adkins opened the school day by leading the student body in the customary Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
Maura Bennington, Principal of Diplomat Middle, escorted Adkins around the campus, showing him the classroom layouts and introducing him to staff and students. Bennington told staff that she was excited to have the superintendent tour the campus at the beginning of a new school year. According to Bennington, the goal of the first day back to school is building the relationships that will allow students to succeed the rest of the year.
“They’re going to do team building activities, breaking the ice and getting to know [each other],” said Bennington. “They are going to start really creating those relationships. For everything else in life to be successful, your relationships have to have a great foundation and the first day of school is the day you start building those relationships.”
Adkins, who began his career in Lee County as a middle school science teacher before becoming principal of Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School, addressed a class of eighth graders, saying that he enjoyed returning to his middle school roots and encouraging the students to enjoy their final year before moving on to high school.
“It is kind of cool to be back in the kind of middle school where I started.” Adkins said.
The stop at Diplomat Middle was one of six Adkins made across the district on Thursday to celebrate the beginning of the school year.
Students in Collier County Public Schools return on Wednesday.
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