September 4, 2008

Final Schools Open For New Year

By Brian Wallace

The last wave of students returned to Lancaster County's public schools Wednesday as pupils started the new year in the Warwick, Lancaster and Manheim Township districts.

About 4,700 students in all grades returned to Warwick's six schools, and about 1,500 upperclassmen returned to McCaskey and McCaskey East high schools.

Manheim Township's elementary schools welcomed 376 kindergartners to their first day of classes.

"The kids were wonderful," said Jay Butterfield, the new principal of McCaskey East. "I shook hands with so many kids who came up to me and said, 'Are you the new principal?'

"The kids were ready to learn, and the teachers were ready to teach," he said.

The former Central York High School principal, hired less than a month ago to replace Damaso Albino, began greeting students Wednesday morning on the sidewalk outside McCaskey East.

"There were no late buses, relatively few late children and very, very few problems," he said.

At Warwick, acting superintendent Robert Lombardo made the rounds at the high school and Lititz Elementary School.

"Things went really, really well," he said at the end of the day.

"Everything's gone unbelievably smoothly."

Lombardo was appointed to the acting post in July after John George, Warwick superintendent for two years, announced he would be leaving in August.

Lombardo said it wasn't much different starting school this year as the district's top administrator - he previously was assistant superintendent and a high school principal - although he did get to address the entire Warwick staff Tuesday.

He talked about "teamwork - that the team makes the difference - and that all together, we're a team," Lombardo said.

"A lot of people worked hard all summer to make things run smoothly."

Lombardo said he was tickled to see that freshmen still arrive on the first day of high school "really nervous and not sure of where they're going."

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