Going back to school can be nerve-racking for many students, which is why San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) superintendent Dale Marsden paid visits to several of his schools on the morning of Monday, Aug. 7. Highland Community News caught up with him as he visited a newly repainted Lankershim Elementary School.

“We’re excited to kick off the first day of school,” said Marsden. “We have 72 schools, 50,000 students, it’s a wonderful day and we’re making hope happen in the city of San Bernardino.”

Marsden recognizes the prepwork students and staff put in for day one of the 2019-2020 school year.

“I just stepped into a brand new teacher’s classroom, first day of school, first year teaching… And her room looks fantastic! The kind of effort and energy put into making this year a success is to be commended by everybody.”

Marsden, who also visited San Bernardino High School that morning, says he chose to visit Lankershim to help them feel recognized by the district.

“I just wanted to choose an elementary school that’s a really good school for our city. This is one of many.”

Marsden’s visit to Lankershim coincides with the first day of school for one particular member of the Lion family: New principal Evette Peters.

“It’s a larger school, a lot more lives I can touch. The staff is just wonderful, the students are welcoming and inviting. It’s just a great change, a fresh change to be at Lankershim.”

Both shared memories of their own first days of school.

“The only one I can remember is just going to school and being so excited to meet my teacher and see who was going to be in my classes,” said Peters.

“I see the kids’ eyes just like when I went to school as youngster; You’re nervous, you’re excited, you’re not sure what to expect, there’s anticipation,” Marsden pointed out. “Once they get here for the first couple of days, what we realize is they… return to old relationships and develop new relationships and get set off on a trajectory toward a lot of great memories and learning.”

Marsden’s advice to these students is to treat every day of school like the first day.

“Make it like your second and all the way through your last; Keep your head, your mind, your heart engaged to what you’re doing,” he said. “Make the most of it. And enjoy the journey! Think about what you’re passionate and talented in and just focus your energies on those things. Work hard and that’ll take you where you want to go.”

Students and parents can find additional resources on the Lankershim website: lankershim.sbcusd.com

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