Great Mills H.S. Principal Jake Heibel addresses seniors

Almost 18,000 students descended on the 28 St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) Wednesday for the opening day of the 2014-15 school year. They were joined, as has been the tradition under School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, with an entourage of school and public officials in six teams.

The opening day was bittersweet for Martirano as it was his last before moving on next month to become State Superintendent of West Virginia Public Schools. Newly appointed Acting Superintendent Scott Smith did not have an assigned tour schedule, instead being available to go where needed.

Joining Dr. Martirano at 8 a.m. at Spring Ridge Middle School were Board of Education President Dr. Sal Raspa, Patuxent NAS Commanding Officer Capt. Ben Shevchuk, Sen. Roy Dyson, Del, John Bohanan, County Commissioner President Francis “Jack” Russell and Navy/SMCPS liaison Dawn Simpson.

The dignitaries were given a tour by Principal Angela Fulp, who will be orchestrating a construction zone for the school year. She said students from the STEM 7th and 8th grade will be moving into portable classrooms next week and renovation work commences in the vacated spaces.

In classrooms visited, student were eating or finishing breakfast. Spring Ridge is one of the county schools in which all student are provided breakfast.

The entourage then moved on to Great Mills High School (Principal Jake Heibel), Lexington Park Elementary School (Principal Dr. Curtis Alston) and Fairlead Academy I (Principal Rebecca Cline).