Students, parents, and teachers reflect on the past school year

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RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — With summer vacation knocking on the door, 59News spoke with students, parents, and teachers who said they are all more excited for summer break than ever.

For one girl at Ghent Elementary, the last day of school fell on her birthday, so a vacation is not all she was excited about.

“I’m excited to open presents,” said Sophia Callaway, who is going into kindergarten at Ghent Elementary in the fall.

Sophia said she cannot wait to learn new things in kindergarten.

“Like doing math, because it’s so fun,” said Callaway.

But not everyone is ready for the year to end.

“The last couple weeks have been really tough because we know they are leaving. They are going to middle school, so it’s bittersweet, but they are going to have a great time this summer,” said Teena Lilly, a fifth grade teacher at Ghent Elementary.

Going into the school year there were a lot of questions about how things should operate, from virtual and online education, to finding new ways to learn and teach.

“Our students, they have had to work really hard and it has been a struggle for them because it is different, especially at the beginning of the year when we were all remote,” said Mary Ann Foster, the Shady Spring High School Principal.

At the beginning, many thought the school year would not finish, but now as administrators prepare for summer break, they said every obstacle they encountered this year will only help them going forward.

“It just made us stronger, all the covid regulations and everything we all worked through them and dealt with them and it made us stronger as a school,” said Foster.

Foster said while she is excited for a vacation, she cannot wait to see the students again, hopefully under more normal circumstances.

“So we are pretty excited, go home for the summer, get refreshed and come back strong,” said Foster.

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