Debbie Larson greets students outside of Duncan Creek Elementary in Mill Creek wearing a “DC” Superman shirt and a cape on the first day of school on Tuesday. All of the staff wore the shirts to ease the students’ nerves as they returned to school. (Staff Photo: David Welker)
HOSCHTON — Wearing a Batgirl costume complete with a mask, Dayna Alkire-Barry was a welcome sight for students arriving at Duncan Creek Elementary on Tuesday.
The physical education teacher was one of several staff members who dressed up as superheroes while others wore “DC” T-shirts with an emblem across the chest. The back of the shirts read, “I’m a Cardinal. What’s your superpower?”
The costumes and “DC” (for Duncan Creek) Superman T-shirts were designed to lessen any fears or anxiety students may have on the first day of school.
“As teachers and educators we talk about impact, and we can be a superhero to so many,” Principal Carrie Yougel said.
There was also a Wonderwoman helping parents and kids find their destination, and various capes flowing outside the school as the sidewalks and front lobby buzzed while wide eyed youngsters took in their surroundings.
“You can tell who’s new,” Alkire-Berry said. “You can tell who’s in fifth grade now, because they come in with that strut a little bit. They’re excited. We’re excited. I need about a month off and I’m ready to come back. We want to get them excited, especially the new kids, ‘This place is pretty cool.’ I think it eases their mind a little bit.”
While several kids appeared nervous and uneasy about the first day, several parents also had mixed emotions and were comforted by teachers and staff members.
“If you acknowledge them, ‘Hi, how are you, welcome to the school,’ I think that’s all they want, to be acknowledged, to be welcomed, I think that goes a long way,” Alkire-Berry said.
The Thompson family now has two students at Duncan Creek in kindergartener Ava and third-grader Madalyn. Their father, Bryan, said for his daughters, “summer was too fast; they had way too much fun.”
And Tuesday meant a lot of excitement and neither showed any nerves.
“The kindergartener was super excited to go to school,” he said. “For the third-grader, it was a regular old routine for her.”
Duncan Creek Elementary Welcomes Students Back
Students at Duncan Creek Elementary in Mill Creek had an unexpected surprise on their first day back to school. As they arrived, they were greeted by their teachers dressed as superheroes.