They poured into the front doors and arrived from all directions—their parents’ cars, school buses or just walking from their homes.
And they were cheery, energetic and anxious to reunite with their friends and catch up from their time away during the summer months.
The students took center stage on Wednesday, September 7, when they all returned to their classrooms during the Opening Day of the 2022-2023 school year in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.
All 11 school buildings in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District opened their doors to welcome back their students on a cloudy but thankfully not a rainy morning in the neighborhoods of Bridgewater and Raritan.
Overall, a total of 8,116 students launched their school year on September 7 in the largest district in all of Somerset County.
Schools Superintendent Bob Beers was as excited as the students and staff when he began his second year in his role at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.
“Today we were grateful to welcome the entire Bridgewater-Raritan community back to school. Over 8,000 students were greeted by our excellent faculty, administration, and staff to kick off the 2022/23 school year,” Superintendent Beers claimed.
While the students appeared delighted and quite content to be back with their friends, did the two new principals in the school district experience any jitters?
Aldo Russo, who just began in his position of the Principal at the John F. Kennedy Primary School, matched his students in terms of being thrilled and excited–especially since he has returned home.
Russo grew up in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District and graduated from the high school.
“I feel as though this is exactly where I am supposed to be,” Russo said while he greeted his new students and families. "I can’t wait to help the students and staff have a great year.”
Veteran administrator Dan Hemberger triggered his career in the school district when he opened the doors to Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School as its first-year Principal.
He, too, was elated along with his new students.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm. The students are excited, the staff is excited and I'm excited,” Hemberger stated while kids swarmed into the classrooms.
As the leader of such a large high school, Hemberger was pleased with the operations during the first day.
“Aside from the typical hiccups, the day flowed very smoothly,” Hemberger reported.
He is also encouraged about what lies ahead this year.
“It’s a new school year with some positive updates to our program,” Hemberger declared. “And our camaraderie is evident on campus.”
He not only speaks for the high school but for the other 10 schools in the district, too.