Weiner students experience a 'last' first day of school

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

WEINER, AR (KAIT) - Today is the first day back to school for most kids in Region 8.  While there is the usual excitement of going back to school there is a different kind of excitement for everyone in Weiner.  This is their last first day back to school.

From the arrival of the buses to the start of class the first day of school is filled with excitement and dread.

"It's sad but I want to make the best out of it," said Junior Sarah Beth Thompson.

"I think they'll have mixed emotions but I think they're really excited right now," said Superintendent Chuck Hanson.

For students and staff at the Weiner School District this is a day they knew was coming.  Junior Sarah Beth Thompson will not get the chance to graduate from Weiner, something the seniors at this school will get to do.

"I've been here all my life and I'm in the eleventh grade.  It means so much to me, this school.  Not just to me, to everybody.  It means so much.  It's a great school and we love it," said Thompson.

Patricia Hesse is the gifted and talented teacher at Weiner School District and has many special connections to this campus.

"I've taught school at Weiner for 28 years.  I graduated from this school.  My parents graduated from this school.  I had a great grandmother who was one of the first teachers here in the early 1900's," said Hesse.

While there are reasons to be sad, there are also other reasons to celebrate.  Weiner has never been under financial distress and the school has never been under school improvement.

"We're ending on a note where we can be proud of what we've done.  It's always been an excellent school and continues to be that.  We can look back and know we did the best we could do and were successful at what we did," said Hesse.

We all spend so many of our developmental years inside the classroom and that's one thing many will take away.

"I try to look at the positive.  I've been here this long and I've got this much out of it and I'm just excited for that," said Thompson.

"I think education is all about doing the best you can regardless of what size you are.  There are a lot of things big schools can do that little schools can't do, there are a lot of things little schools can do that it's just not possible at a big school," said Hesse.

Everyone is thankful for the time they've had at the school so they are going to be appreciative of the time they have left.

The school boards of Weiner and Valley View will meet up again in the near future.  There will also be community meetings to gauge how the two communities feel about coming together as one.

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