Fort Rucker, AL
Fort Rucker | June 10, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 5, 2014) -- School may be out for the summer for Fort Rucker schools, but teachers and students are both happy and sad with upcoming transitions, additions and changes.
Fort Rucker Elementary and Primary Schools dismissed the students May 29 to cheers and a few tears, but many students said they are looking forward to a relaxing summer although many are moving away from the Wiregrass area.
"We are moving to Fort Campbell, Ky., so I am a little nervous and excited to make new friends and go to a new school," said Xander Moody, Army Family member. "I will miss this school because I really liked being in the chorus because we got to sing and go and see places around (the community). But learning how to add and subtract was neat, too."
Addy Thompson, future seventh grader, is fortunate enough to stay in the Wiregrass but is nervous about transitioning to middle school.
"I really enjoyed science this year because we had some really cool projects. I like the possibilities that the class let us explore. The invention convention where we all made a new invention at home was awesome," she said. "I will really, really miss the teachers here, and I won't be going to the same school as some of my friends. But, I am looking forward to new classes I can take."
Even the principals were reflective and somewhat emotional when letting the students go, some for the final time.
"Many of these students leaving the school I have seen grow over the last few years and I am so happy that I got to see the progression that all of them have made," said Vicki Gilmer, Fort Rucker Primary School principal. "I even teared up at the sixth grade graduation (May 28). All of the students have worked so hard and it's just exciting to see them heading off to middle school."
Gilmer said the school has had an amazing year with events, partnerships and testing.
"We had so much going on this year. Some of my favorites were (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Fest, Time to Shine Rally and our 'Wizard of Oz' production," she said. "We also began new partnerships with different organizations on post like U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and Lyster Army Health Clinic. It was really nice to have a buddy in the neighborhood that could further educate the students."
The school also received the Terra Nova test results last week and they were "absolutely outstanding," she said.
The average score for the Terra Nova is 50 percent, said Gilmer and every grade level and in every content area FRES scored well above that.
"We went up as a school in 14 categories. Our sixth grade class scored … in the 70 and 80 percentile, and that is remarkable," she said.
FRPS celebrated the last week of school with more than just play dates, said Deborah Deas, Fort Rucker Primary School principal.
"This last week has been really fun and packed full of activities for all the students," she said. "We watched movies, had a water-themed field day along with our traditional field day, and had beach-themed days, pizza parties, game days and other various activities."
Emma Rose Chandler, future second grader, reflected on what she liked best about primary school and what she is looking forward to most at the elementary school.
"I liked going to gym class because I got to play fun games with my friends while exercising," she said. "I am looking forward to going to elementary school because I will get to meet new teachers and get a locker."
Deas also regarded the school year with success, though she was also sad she was losing students.
"One of my favorite things we did this year was Operation Celebration where we sent Christmas presents to Soldiers overseas. But, we also had a STEM night where we invited parents to build a project with the students."
The primary school had the Georgia-Alabama Teacher of the Year, which added another aspect to the school's thriving year.
This will be the first year in many that the school will not have major renovations or infrastructure rebuilding.
"Here is to next year being as good as this one," said Deas as children flooded the halls to say goodbye.