Gaston residents gather to celebrate school's start
Sept. 1 kick-off draws varied crowd
Students, parents, staff members, neighbors and local leaders converged on the Gaston School District football field last week to celebrate the start of school with hot dogs and music.
Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday, Sept. 1, to meet new school staff members, as well as the towns new fire chief, Michael Kinkade, and its assigned Washington County Sheriffs deputy, Bobby Wormington. There were also tables with information about community resources.
Becca Sheets came to the event with her son to drop
off his school supplies and
chat with his friends and second grade teacher. This event is awesome for bringing the community together and saying hi to each other, Sheets said.
Its an awesome community and its nice to see faces
you havent seen all summer, said Sharon Van Dyke, who wanted to celebrate the school years start with the rest of the town.
Van Dyke has had one or more of her 10 children enrolled in the Gaston School District since 1995. Her youngest is now in sixth grade.
Kinkade, chief of Forest Grove, Cornelius and Gaston fire departments, showed off a fire engine, letting kids crawl on it and get their picture taken. He was also sharing basic fire safety messages with children and letting them know about the cadet program at Gaston High School. He currently has one applicant and needs to drum up interest from at least three more to enact the program.
Wormington was there with his patrol car. A Gaston native and Gaston High School graduate, Wormington tries to spend a portion of his weekly hours at the school. He was happy to come back to his alma matter, chat with some of his former teachers and answer questions.
Wormington introduced himself to as many people as possible and hopes Gastons children will feel comfortable enough around him to talk with him about things going on in their lives.
Part of making an appearance at such events, he said, helps kids realize Im not a bad guy. I take pleasure and pride in my work with the kids.
The Booster Club, Gastons Parent Teacher Club, Midco Bus Company, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop representatives set up booths while the Gaston Knights of Pythias grilled up hundreds of hot dogs and volunteers served them along with juice, chips and potato salad. The Gaston Junior/Senior High School band played in the background.