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Excitement For New School Year At Verda James Orientation (GALLERY)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Makieha Lang and Madison Cochran quietly drifted towards a table and two chairs placed on the far right and middle row of Bridget Fink’s 4th-grade classroom on Thursday afternoon. With a nod and a smile, they silently confirmed they’d like to spend the school year seated together and eagerly wrote their names on sticky notes placed on the desks.

The two are friends from last year, and since they ended up in their new home room together they got the early advantage of choosing their spots during the tradition of orientation day at Verda James Elementary School. When asked if she’s excited for 4th-grade, Madison responded “Yeah? Sort of?”

“We’re, what’s the word…’nervouscited’?” asks Madison’s mother. “Yeah!” responds Madison, who likes the term coined by a character from “My Little Pony”.

Fourth-grade teacher Bridget Fink is ready for the new year, which will be her 21st year of teaching at Verda James. “It’s exciting, you get to meet all these new kids,” said Fink. The experienced teacher enjoys the challenge of helping each student reach their potential. “It’s always interesting to figure out how each brain works,” said Fink.

The halls of the school bustled with students and parents as they located new room assignments and met new teachers. Sarah Carlson was walking with her son Zander while pushing her daughter Mia in a stroller. Zander carried a bag of fresh school supplies as he eagerly looked for his new kindergarten room. The two were having trouble finding it until a staff member pointed them in the right direction.

Sarah put on a brave face as she faced the reality of her first-born heading off to school. Asked about her emotional condition, she said “We’ll see on Tuesday when I drop him off”.

Clara Sowers gives Verda James principal Kevin Pagett a hug during orientation on Thursday afternoon in Casper. Clara, who is entering 2nd-grade, has been “ready since the 2nd day of summer vacation,” said her mother. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Zander Carlson glances back while looking for his new kindergarten class during orientation at Vera James on Thursday afternoon. “We’ll see on Tuesday when I drop him off,” said his mother Sarah Carlson when asked about her emotions at the moment. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Makieha Lang and Madison Cochran write their names on sticky notes indicating their seating choices in Bridget Fink’s 4th-grade class during orientation on Thursday afternoon at Verda James. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Kindergarten students and their parents are given instructions on lining up for the first school day during orientation at Verda James on Thursday afternoon in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Jen Trupp holds her daughter Brooke, 5, while at orientation for her son Brody, 6, who will be attending kindergarten at Verda James. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)