Comal ISD Celebrates First Day Of School
Submitted By Jason Gordon
Comal ISD hit the back-to-school trail running as students and parents flocked to the district’s campuses in record numbers.
Comal ISD is projected to eclipse the 23,000-student mark for the first time in its history this school year. During the 2016-17 school year, the district exceeded 22,000 students for the first time.
Sarah Permenter, Bill Brown Elementary principal, said she always looks forward to this special day.
“To me, this is the best day of the year,” Permenter said. “It’s an energizing day. New beginnings are always so wonderful. To see the kids and parents walking into our school hand-in-hand on the first day is always emotional for them as well as our teachers and faculty members.”
Oak Creek Elementary principal Stacy Wilkie agrees.
“The excitement in the children is so evident,” Wilkie said. “We get to connect with the parents through their tears or their smiles of joy. It’s a great time for a fresh start whether you’re a returning student or someone who is brand new to our campus.”
Amy Gusman is the parent of three Comal ISD students.
“I become so emotional. I shed tears of joy on the first day,” Gusman said. “But they are always so welcoming at the schools. Although I do get emotional I also know it’s a happy time because my children are reuniting with their friends and their teachers.”
Gusman said another thing she and her family love about Comal ISD is the district’s overall focus despite its rapid growth.
“Comal ISD still allows families to participate in their children’s education despite the fact we’re a fast-growth district,” Gusman said. “In fact, they welcome it –from the school board, to the administration all the way down to the classroom – and I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
Bart Cooper, who teaches 7th grade Science at Smithson Valley Middle School, is starting his 14th year at the campus.
“I still love the anticipation of the first day of school,” Cooper said. “It’s just the first step of what’s going to be a really fun journey. The district has grown leaps and bounds since I’ve been here but Comal ISD’s mission to give each student the individual attention they need hasn’t changed. That’s what I love about working here.”
Freiheit Elementary first-grade teacher A’ndrea Fisher enjoys the new connections she makes each year in some of the most important years of a child’s life.
“The most important thing at the start of every year is to develop a strong relationship with your students so they know that they fit in,” Fisher said. “Coming into a new classroom can be very scary. My goal is to always make sure my students know they are walking into a new family and that we are here for each other.”
Joni Coker, Comal ISD’s Executive Director of Elementary Schools, is also ready for a great 2017-18 school year.
“It’s thrilling to see our parents proudly delivering their kids to our schools on the first day,” Coker said. “It’s a wonderful time and I know our administration, teachers and other faculty and staff are ready to make this the best school year yet.”
Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim said he believes focusing on the needs of every child will be key during 2017-18.
“I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2017-18 school year. I hope you had a wonderful summer,” Kim said. “As I think about the next nine months and the work that we have before us, from myself to our teachers in the classroom, we should be focused on the needs of every child. In addition, as a father of three kids, I believe that as parents we need to be focused as we participate in the education of our children.”