Lake Fenton staff greeted many familiar faces, but also many new ones at the first day of school Tuesday.
Dan Ferguson said the first day back went well. Teachers and other employees made sure the new students, and the 160 sixth-graders, are settled in.
"We have more than 50 new students to our building," Ferguson said. "As a district, we have over 100 new students."
At Chloe Wittersheim, eighth grade, said her favorite class is language arts. She's excited to see her friends, after a fun summer that included hanging out with friends and visiting Chicago.
Fellow eighth-grader Max Schupbach said, "It was a little weird" walking into school again, but he's looking forward to the eighth grade trips this school year. He went up North a few times during the summer and went four-wheeling with a friend.
New for this year are renovations to the middle school band room, which were needed since the band program went from 45 students to more than 70, Ferguson said. Some sound-absorbing material was needed.
"It was a good problem to have," he said.
Within about two weeks, Lake Fenton Middle School will have a new gate for its athletic entrance and new scoreboards in the gym, Ferguson said. The parent groups and Athletic Boosters are funding these.
Lake Fenton Middle School has two new teachers, Kristin Graham, who returns to Lake Fenton schools after two years teaching in Cleveland, and Bo Paxton.
Paxton, who taught at Hamady Middle High School for seven years, said his first day at Lake Fenton Middle School was going well. The students seem very helpful and polite, he added.
Paxton's fellow teacher Pat Wiedlar has had students at Lake Fenton Community Schools for 20 years.
"I would like to see every eighth grade student be successful in reading and endeavor to be prepared for high school," she said. "And to have a year not filled with drama.
"Opportunities exist for the kids to be successful and we are here to provide those for them," Wiedlar said.
Paxton described his last class before lunch as "hungry."
And how do teachers remember all of those new names?
Paxton, at Lake Fenton Middle School, said he plays a name game with his students. He has each pick an adjective that best describes them, that starts with the first letter of their name. And taking attendance helps, he said. Wiedlar said she has her students list their top 10 values, and places them in categories according to the values.