By Leah Collich, Fort Rucker Public AffairsJune 9, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- School bells rang for the last time of the school year on Fort Rucker June 2.
Graduation ceremonies, ice cream parties, rambunctious children and early-release day are all signs that the school year has come to an end and summer vacation has begun.
Fort Rucker Elementary and Primary schools held their last day of classes for the school year and the day was bittersweet for everyone, said Dr. Vicki Gilmer, principal of Fort Rucker Elementary School.
As she walked into the fourth and fifth grade award assembly, Gilmer reflected on a very successful school year. She said her proudest achievement of the year was how well the students performed on the Terra Nova Standardized test.
“Our students did so well. Our scores were up in 16 areas. We passed the national percentile rank. It was absolutely a stellar year for this group. It was a school-wide success and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” she said.
Wyatt Collard,13, graduated from the sixth grade with 83 other classmates June 1 and he will be going to Coppinville Junior High School in the fall.
He said he is a little nervous about the transition, but looks forward to something new. His advice to upcoming sixth graders is to be sure they enjoy their last year as an elementary student because it goes by fast.
“They should make sure to live it to the fullest and try to make themselves shine. If they keep a positive attitude, they can get out of sixth grade and start a new year at a cool new middle school,” Collard said.
The sixth graders celebrated their graduation with a Mexican food lunch and cake in the school gym.
Excitement was high at the last day of primary school also, as Kim Smith’s first grade class enjoyed playing with homemade play-dough and listening to a guest reader.
Smith said the end of the year is bittersweet for her, but that she has enjoyed watching the children grow and learn.
“The best part for me has been knowing that my kids love school and that they enjoy learning. They tell me that they love it. There’s nothing better than that,” she said
Smith and Gilmer both recommend that parents keep their students busy over the summer by encouraging them to read and to spend less time playing video games.
A lot of primping and priming will be taking place at the schools over the summer to get ready for the next school year. New paint will be going up at the elementary school and the primary school will undergo construction to better organize the open concept classrooms.
Gilmer said the elementary school will be introducing a new curriculum and the teachers are excited to start planning.