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The first day of school is an exciting time for students and parents, but also for the school staff. Here’s what they had to say about the start of the new school year!

Jack Alvey
Jack Alvey

Principal – DPS

“I’m always excited to have the kids back. Being able to walk around, see them, catch up with them, it’s just nice to have them back. And it reminds me why I do what I do.”

Lindsey Bernard
Lindsey Bernard
5th Grade Teacher – Bell Top

“I’m really looking forward to meeting the kids – taking the time to get to know them and their interests. I think it’s important to spend that quality time building those relationships.”

Meg Condo
Meg Condo

School Nurse – Genet

“I’m looking forward to the kiddos walking down the hallway. A new school year brings a combination of feelings – excitement, nervousness, anticipation. So I’m happy to be here to comfort our students and reassure them that this is a safe place and a fun place.”

Heather DiOrio

Heather DiOrio
Kindergarten Teacher – DPS

“Kindergarten is such an amazing year of growth, from what they can do or can’t do the first day, to the incredible things they can do in June. So I’m looking forward to meeting all of my new little friends and watching them grow.”

Jeanine Garcia
Jeannine Garcia

Kitchen Manager – Goff

“I get excited for the new menu items we can offer the kids each year. We try to make their lunch time as happy and enjoyable as it can be.”

Misty Hayes
Misty Hayes
4th Grade Teacher – Red Mill

“As I stand at the door the very first day greeting my new students, I too have the back to school butterflies. I’m not nervous, but rather bubbling with anticipation as I eagerly await embarking on another classroom’s journey. I believe the year will inspire individuality, creative expression in a classroom community, and the discovery of new knowledge, but more importantly it will be fun!”


Chris Hosley

Physical Education Teacher – Columbia High School

“I am most excited about working with the new and returning Columbia students as well as the wonderful building staff members.”

Green Meadow students making longhouses
Jaimee Kusche
4th Grade Teacher – Green Meadow

“I’m looking forward to making connections with my new class of 4th graders. I love to see the progress they make from September to June.”

Wendy McAlonie
Wendy McAlonie
Social Studies Teacher – Columbia High School

“Each new school year gives me an opportunity to connect with new students and share with them the passion I feel for history. I am especially excited this year to bring back our multicultural fair and to encourage student involvement with this endeavor.”

Jacqui Nagy
Jacqui Nagy
Music Teacher – Red Mill

“A brand new school year means a new opportunity to be the best you. I’m looking forward to students participating in class and getting involved in the school community.”


Andrea Neiman
Art Teacher – Columbia High School

“Ms. Gordon, Ms. LeRoy and I cannot wait to share our beautiful new art supplies with our students and see the creative and unique ways they will utilize them! We believe our excitement for the new school year is contagious and we look forward to greeting the students, both familiar and new, on opening day! We promise to share smiles and positive energy!”

Marie Noeth
Marie Noeth

School Bus Driver

“I love the beginning of the school year because you get to see the kids again. And I’m especially excited because we have several new drivers coming in. It’s my job to train the drivers so I’m happy to see them heading out on their own.”

Shufelt and Dessureau
Jude Shufelt and Christine Dessureau

Secretaries – Goff Middle School

“I enjoy seeing how excited the kids are when they come back to school.”
– Mrs. Shufelt

“It’s amazing how much the kids change from sixth grade to eighth grade while they’re at Goff. We get them ready to become high school students and that makes us proud.”
– Mrs. Dessureau

Superintendent Simons speaking at graduation
Jeff Simons
Superintendent of Schools

“I am excited about the new school year as we provide new opportunities within our curriculum and improved access to technology to ensure our students are prepared.”

Scott Siver
Scott Siver
5th Grade Teacher Genet

“I think back to when I was a child because I was a fifth grade student in this classroom. So I get in my mindset of what it was like for me as a student and then I think about the kids and their first experience as fifth graders. The kids get a kick out of it when I tell them I was once in their seat.”

John Sprackland
John Sprackland
Custodian – Bell Top

“I take pride in putting the uniform on. We did a lot of work this summer – painting, cleaning the furniture, waxing the floors and cleaning up the yard. It’s rewarding to get the building ready for the kids, the staff and the community.”