Some wore T-shirts publicizing their senior status, some worried about impending encounters with upperclassmen, but all sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Beverly High School walked into the hot building for their first day of the 2010-2011 year, while freshman entered day two of their high school careers.
"It's 90 degrees in this school!" bemoaned one girl in the senior class as she stood with several friends, all wearing matching orange Beverly High School Seniors T-shirts.
Ashley Stetson, 18, agreed with her friend. "It's horrible," she said of the temperature, which weather predictions all but promised would increase throughout the day.
Stetson, however, said she looked forward to her senior year and her plans of attending Salem State University to study dance next year.
The freshman class of 2014 began yesterday, so that they could take a day to get oriented to the building before hundreds more students filled the hallways, said Beverly Superintendent of Schools, Marie E. Galinski.
"It relieves some of the anxiety the kids have," Galinski, a freshman Superintendent herself, said of the day-early start date.
While new to the head-of-schools job, Galinski worked as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the previous six years; a time, she said, that ushered in much change.
"We've done a lot of professional development in the past six years," Galinski said.
According to Galinski, changes included updates in curriculum, books, and an increased focus on technology.
"They're [students] already online 24/7...we need to bring that technology to keep these kids engaged," Galinski said.
Technology will be even more of a focus later this year, Galinski added, when the new BHS building opens at the end of November. The new facility features state-of-the-art technology, including wireless service throughout the building and energy efficient electricity.
"We get a lot of points for that, the more green it is," Galinski said.
Sydney Gallagher, 11, stopped by the high school where her father, Sean, is the principal. She was heading to her second day at Briscoe Middle School, where the seventh and eighth graders began today.
Although initially nervous about missing her best friend, who wasn't in her assigned student team, Gallagher enjoyed meeting new people, and especially liked her homeroom teacher.
"She lets us play all these games to get to know each other," Gallagher said.