The first day back to school today at Summit Academy – Youngstown was not short on fanfare. One-by-one, students walked up a red carpet to their 144 N. Shenley Ave. school doors where they were greeted with hoorays, handshakes, applause, high-fives and even a couple of hugs from school administrators.
Principal Rebecca “Becky” Ellis says she wanted to make the first day of school extra special for her school’s 120-some kindergarten through seventh-grade students and ease any jitters they may have.
“We want to celebrate and build the positive, inclusive school community we are,” says Ellis. “We want to get everybody excited for the new school year, so we pulled out the stops.”
Tangela Phillips who brought her granddaughter, Kariyae, to school this morning says she was awe-inspired by the first-day festivities and the school overall.
“The school has a sweet vibe. The staff, teachers, everybody I have met is wonderful,” says Phillips, whose granddaughter, Kariyae, a second grader, is attending Summit Academy for the first time this year.
Seventh-grade student Dominic Wilson walked up the red carpet with a comfortable, at-ease stride, ready to greet his final year at the school with confidence. “It’s a good school to come to. The teachers care about you and you make friends here,” says Wilson, adding that his favorite subject is math.
Dean of Students Michael Prendergast says he is thrilled to work at Summit Academy – Youngstown where he describes a type of camaraderie he experienced during his 20 years of service as a Mineman Senior Chief Petty Officer for the U.S. Navy. “At Summit Academy, I have found this and more,” says Prendergast. “It feels great to be surrounded by people who genuinely want to see the growth and success of each individual student. I’m so grateful and proud to be part of the Summit family who strive to make an impact on our children’s lives every day.”
Prendergast, Ellis, Literacy Coach Jessica Davis, IEP Coordinator Nichole Doerzbacher, Summit Academy Management CEO John Guyer, Sensei David Janacone, Administrative Assistant Dawn Puryear, Behavior Specialist Triana Szep and school mascot Louie the Lion were among this morning’s band of cheerful greeters.