Westlake welcomes students and community back to school after summer break

WESTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) — Teachers cheered as students walked through the Westlake Schools doors and into the classroom.

Lee Bureson Middle School principal Tom Flaska said it was one of the three best days of the year for students.

“Their favorite holidays, their birthday and the first day of school,” Flaska said. “I’m going to see kids, my friends I haven’t seen in all summer, I’m going to have new teachers, what will the new year bring?”

At Westlake Elementary School on Dover Center Road in Center Ridge Road, it was time for a parent’s kiss and a teacher’s touch

“We have a lot of gaps to fill, but we’re on track,” said teacher Shellie Gedeon.

“Seeing the smiling faces of students arrive this year, such a big change from the last two years with our mask mandates,” echoed fellow Westlake Elementary School teacher Katelyn Chajon.

Principal Greg Plantner even directed traffic as parents navigated the landing stage, guiding students in the right direction.

“Elementary school is a place where we should have fun,” Plantner said. “We have a theme this year which is ‘Reunite, Revive and Prosper’ and that is what we will do with our students and parents every day.”

Westlake Superintendent Dr. Scott Goggin says the first day of school affects the whole community.

“Whether you’re a younger person coming to school, or someone starting a family, or an older person, the town of Westlake has something for you,” Dr. Goggin said.

Kip Primrose is a graduate of Westlake and now a teacher in the district.

“The only difference now, you’re not sitting in class, but you’re in front of the kids,” Primrose recalled. “Really, not a lot of differences. You’re still nervous but you’re still very excited.

But it was her seventh-grade daughter who learned a family lesson from day one.

“Really excited, having my dad as a teacher, new school,” Nora said.

The Westlake community actually started the school year on Friday with the Westlake Dragon’s 21-7 loss to North Royalton. The team plays against Rhodes this Friday

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