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On the last day of school students usually ask others to sign their yearbooks. Korrin Zollweg, 13, of Sylvania bucked that tradition.
Names, hearts, smiling faces, and messages of “I will miss you” written in permanent black marker made a patterned ink sleeve on her arms and part of her shoulders.
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“One person signed and then everyone followed,” said the eighth grader who will attend Northview High School next school year.
She eagerly waited with others in the hallway, chatting and counting down the minutes to 2:55 p.m. Thursday inside McCord Junior High School for the final bell to ring, letting the school out for summer. McCord had 674 students this year.
Thursday was the final day for Sylvania Schools‘ junior high and high school students. Today is the last day for elementary schools.
The school calendar was scheduled to end on Wednesday, but the brutal winter caused the district to lose 13 instructional days for upperclassmen and 14 for elementary pupils. The Ohio legislature forgave four of those days and the district made up some of the other days before this week.
The district has a student body of 7,500. Nancy Crandell, district spokesman, said attendance next year is expected to be similar. For most students, school resumes Aug. 21 and 22, depending on the grade.
McCord Principal Keith Limes said the school had a talent show earlier in the day Thursday, with students showcasing their gifts, followed by the Signing Yearbook Dance for the lunch periods.
“The dance gave our students a chance to say goodbye,” he said. “For our eighth grade class, half feed into Northview and half into Southview, so for some it is the last goodbye.”
For Ronny Al-Abed, 12, he was looking forward to summer swimming and attending eighth grade next year. He specifically was excited to play sports at McCord.
For Kaushy Gera, 11, she could not name one tough class this year, rather all classes were a favorite. She was proud to say that, although she will be a seventh grader next year, she will play the violin as a member of the Eighth Grade Orchestra.
Carson Cuneo, 14, had mixed emotions about the day.
“It’s sad to leave,” but it’s time to move on, he said. He will move up to Northview, where he will be able to stretch his artistic mind through the school’s Foundation Arts program that teaches drawing and graphics.
Sylvania parent Christy Gauthier waited in the parking lot for her son Nate, 13. She was melancholy about him ending his junior high days.
“I’m sad. He’s my youngest of three and it’s ending one huge chapter,” she said.
Straight-A student Nate, who will attend Maumee High School, shrugged his shoulders when asked about closing the junior high chapter and opening a new one.
“It’s just another school,” he said.
His older brother Ethan, 15, who ended his freshman year at Northview, had the same nonchalant, no-looking-back attitude.
“It’s just one less year,” he said.
Parent Robin Lutz said she will rest easier now that the year is over.
“We are looking forward to being done with school. It’s been a long haul with snow days and extended school days. The students had a lot of work to catch up on before their state testing,” she said as she waited for Chet, 13, who returns to McCord next school year as an eighth grader.
Before the last school buses filled with children pulled away from McCord’s front entrance, the teachers and staff, about 40 in all, lined up waving to the children for one final giant goodbye.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.