First big day is in the books

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Photos



  • Theresa Cantora, left, and Laura Bonsignore take a photo on the steps of the school bus of their kindergartners, seated from left, Gia Bonsignore, Reilly and Amber Cantora.




  • Christine Witt greeted many students Wednesday morning at UGL Elementary School.




  • Kindergarten students lined up outside of Upper Greenwood Lake School Wednesday morning, awaiting their first day of school.




  • New back packs and sneakers, cool haircuts and they're ready for school.




  • Kids were happy to see their friends and meet new ones after the summer.




  • Students were met with smiling faces for their first day of school.




  • Amber Cantora gives her twin brother, Reilly, a hug as their mom takes that all-important first-day-of-kindergarten photo.




  • Principal Daniel Novak waited outside of Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School Wednesday morning as the buses rolled in.






  • Julianna Kayal gave a hug to her dad, Mike, before starting her first day of kindergarten Wednesday at UGL.



Upper Greenwood Lake Principal Daniel Novak was outside of his school long before the first buses pulled up on Wednesday morning, the first day of school in the West Milford district. He seemed as excited as the kids when they finally arrived.

Novak and Christine Witt, encore/basic skills teacher, walked out of the sparkling glass doors just after 8 a.m. to wait for the kids. Workers were pouring concrete for a new sidewalk down at the far end of the school, past where the buses would pull up. The rest of that job had been done earlier in the week.

Upper Greenwood Lake had a third kindergarten session added just last week, according to Novak. They had 52 walk-up registrations over the summer, many of them in the final week.

"We always have people who wait until the last minute," said Novak, nonplused by it.

He quickly hired a teacher and they transformed a room into a classroom in less than a week.

The buses started to arrive after more than a few kids were dropped off by their parents. Novak and Witt greeted them all, calling them by name. One of the first kindergartners came with her mom and dad. Julianna Kayal gave her dad, Mike, a big hug before they left.

Laura Bonsignore and Theresa Cantora were at the school before their kids' bus was. They waited, cameras at the ready. Bonsignore's youngest, Gia, was starting kindergarten. Cantora had three kids on the bus: first grader Olivia and twins Amber and Reilly, both starting kindergarten. Their grandma, Roseann Reilly was also there for the big day.

"I'll be crying if you wait here long enough," said Bonsignore. Her older daughter started high school earlier in the day.

Finally, the buses arrived. Gaye Kisch, the driver of bus 231 pulled up and the moms waved to her and the kids. There weren't any obvious nerves on the kids' faces, just the moms.

Another first.
For more photos from day one, go to page 8 and westmilfordmessenger.com.

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