Gov. Jack Markell personally welcomed the students of two Middletown-area schools as they returned for the start of the 2013-2014 school year on Tuesday.
The governor spent the morning greeting upper classmen at Middletown High School on their first day back before visiting with students at Cedar Lane Elementary for their second day of the new school year.
“I wanted to be here to greet the students, to greet the teachers, and to say I hope you have a great year,” the governor said. “Now it’s time to get down to work and you’ve got such a great opportunity in this district. Appoquinimink is such a strong school district … and I really hope you take advantage of all the opportunities you have available to you.”
During his visit to Middletown High, Markell sat in on Sarah Finley’s linguistics class – one of the few programs of its type available in a Delaware public school.
“Where the goal of a foreign language class is to get kids to speak and write in a particular language, linguistics looks at the science of language and its innate aspect of being a human,” Finley explained. “I was thrilled and very flattered that the governor to stopped by to see the class because it’s such a rare course in the state.”
Middletown High Principal Matt Donovan said he also excited to have the governor spend time with some of the school’s nearly 1,300 students.
“He’s the leader of our state and it’s an exciting privilege that he chose to visit Middletown High School,” he said. “Our doors are open to anyone to who wants to come see what we do here because we’re proud to showcase our wonderful staff and excellent students.”
Afterward, Markell travelled to Cedar Lane where he asked staff members about class sizes, the school’s leadership lessons, before-school care and their individual goals for the coming year.
He then greeted students and parents arriving at the school for their second day of learning.
“I never met a governor before,” said fifth-grader Brielle Frasier, who recently moved to Delaware from Philadelphia. “It’s pretty cool.”
Brielle’s mother, Dallese Fraiser, agreed.
“I think it’s great that he came out to the school and it show me that he’s concerned about education,” she said. “It’s nice to see that, especially since my children are new to the state.”