George M. Davis, Jr. Elementary School opened its door to students today with a new principal and a new assistant principal at the helm, bringing excitement and energy to the new school year.
Anthony Bambrola, principal, and Laurie Marinaro, assistant principal, were at the front doors of Davis to greet students as they poured into the school. Inside, they fielded questions from parents about assigned teachers, lunch calendars, bus lists and dismissal times.
“You’ll have Ms. Walker this year,” Bambrola gently told a fifth-grader who seemed confused about where to go. “She’s wonderful. Go ahead, have fun.”
Though Bambrola’s assignment as principal is new, he isn’t new to Davis. He served as assistant principal last year, a job Marinaro took over this year after having worked at the two middle schools.
“I’m very excited to be at Davis and call it home. One great part about our leadership team is that Laurie is a New Rochelle girl. She went to school here, she knows the community well,” said Bambrola. “Our goals are simple. It’s building relationships and keeping the momentum going.”
Large groups of kindergartners arrived a little after 8 a.m. with their parents, and clustered outside a side entrance to meet their teachers who would eventually lead them in.
“We’re excited,” said Matt Enquist, who came to drop off his oldest child, Natalie. “I think there’s a little apprehension. But we’ve toured the school and we think it will be great for her.”
For Daniel Crane, 5, school was all about making new friends.
“I’m excited,” he said as he stood with his mother, Omaira Crane. “But it’s hard to make new friends.”
Mom, however, was not worried. “I know the school, I love the school, I love his teacher because she taught my daughter, too.”
Also making a visit to the school was Dr. Magda Parvey, assistant superintendent/chief academic officer. She oversees the district’s kindergarten to 12th-grade curriculum.
On the first day of school, Dr. Parvey planned to visit several schools in the district. After Davis, she was headed to Isaac E. Young Middle School, Trinity Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School and Barnard Early Childhood Center.
“I intended to visit schools and classrooms and see teachers in action,” said Dr. Parvey, who previously worked in North Carolina schools. “The aim is to work collaboratively with principals and teachers to address the academic disparities in the district.”
For Marinaro, who has been with the district for 20 years, elementary school is the place to be.
“This is where the excitement begins. This is where you ignite the spirit of learning,” she said.
Soon the school settled into the rhythm of the day. Teachers welcomed students back to school, students inscribed their names on folders and reconnected with classmates, kindergartners played and took in their first day.
“The goal on the first day of school is to get everyone in and out of the school safely and get kids excited about being back in school,” Bambrola said. “After speaking to several parents, I think we did that.”