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A New Year of Firsts

Date Published: September 10, 2019

Author: Tim Nicolette

A new school year typically includes many “firsts” for students, families, and teachers. We asked charter public schools across the state to share their favorite “firsts” from the start of SY19-20.

First Day of Kindergarten

Jessica Earl, Kindergarten, Foxborough Regional
“[I loved] meeting all the new kids and seeing what the playground was like. My favorite thing was the sensory table at the end of the day.”

First Day of High School and First Day of Senior Year

Tyrone Cartwright, 10th Grade, and Felipe DeSousa, 12th Grade, Atlantis (Pictured from left to right)
Tyrone: “I’ve had a good first week. Everyone here is very nice and welcoming. I’m already learning a lot more at this school than my old school and I can tell this is going to be a better year for me. The teachers really care about the kids here. My goal is to get all A’s and B’s and make this a really good year.”

Felipe: “It’s been a good first week and it was good to see all my friends again. My goals this year are to get good grades so I can get into a good college and get a good internship through my STEM academy. I’m also excited to be captain of the soccer team and help build up our team and help the freshman and sophomores so they can lead when the seniors are gone.”

First Day as School Principal

Chuks Ekwelum, Principal, Academy of the Pacific Rim
“My first day as a principal was incredible – I got to meet with students and some families and I got see my staff so enthusiastic and energetic to welcome our kids. Everything feels real in the summertime when we are with the staff preparing for the school year, but it feels extra real when the kids are here. In gratitude and in service to the students, we have to make sure we are giving them our very best.”

First Day of Teaching

Miesha Moss, 6th Grade Teacher, Veritas Prep
“I’m so excited to meet my students and build a classroom community along with my co-advisor. As a first-year teacher, I knew I wanted to be in a school that values community, provides structure, and supports my growth as an educator, and my pre-practicum experience at Veritas last fall showed me this was a place I could find all of those things!”

First Day of Teaching (at the Place Where You Were Once Taught)

Shanera Brodie, 6th Grade Teacher, Brooke
“On August 14th, my new cohort of sixth grade scholars sheepishly made their way to our classroom. I remembered being a middle school scholar at Brooke and envisioned what I appreciated most about my own teachers: they were firm, yet warm, leaders who never faltered on their high expectations of me. How could this reflect in my own teaching to make sure my scholars were receiving the high-quality education they deserve? Seeing my scholars bringing forth energy and engagement during these first few days of school made me excited for the growth and achievement that is bound to come their way this year. 2019-2020 here we go!”

Niles Mattier, 5th and 6th Teacher, Boston Collegiate
“As an alum of Boston Collegiate Charter School, walking through the hallways elicits a great deal of familiarity and comfort, but my first day with my own classroom was different. I walked into day one of the new school year feeling anxious, worried, afraid, and excited all at once. Would the day go as planned? No, you can never fully plan for the unknown and while that provokes nerves, it is also very exciting. As students entered my classroom for the first time, took their seats, and looked up at me, the year had officially begun. We were all so very nervous for all that was to come, but in that moment, we let the nerves drive our excitement for the beginning of a new year and I was glad to be back at BCCS!”

First Day of College

Aiman Najah, Pioneer Charter School of Science Class of 2019, Columbia University
“From compiling and finalizing my schedule to meeting new students, starting college has been a rewarding and enriching experience. Each class features new faces, new perspectives, and new ideas that bring a deep level of sophistication to learning. With the city in my backyard, each day features a new adventure, one of the best ways to de-stress after classes in my opinion. From getting dollar slice pizza in Times Square to boba in K-Town, college has been a mixture of hard work and relaxation sprinkled with continuous growth.”

This is just a sample of the amazing stories unfolding at charter public schools across the state. To view even more inspiring pictures and quotes, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

To everyone at our charter public schools and at our peer district public schools: Welcome back!


Executive Director, Massachusetts Charter Public School Association