Southwest Orlando’s First Day of School

compiled by Lauren Salinero


Throughout Southwest Orlando, parents, teachers and children prepared for the first day of school. From preplanning to meet-the-teacher events to the first day, it’s been a bustle of activity gearing up for the 2017-18 academic year.

Palm Lake Elementary

Billy the Bobcat is ready to kick off a new school year at Palm Lake Elementary.

Palm Lake Elementary Guidance Counselor Lauren Akesson talks to new kindergartners about the lunchroom.

(Front, l. to r.) Asim, Erin and Christian give a thumbs-up to moms Debidatta (back, left) and Tricia for the first day at Palm Lake Elementary.

Giovanna (right) and Leo tell Mom Florence about their first day at Palm Lake Elementary.

Palm Lake Elementary teacher Kimberly Rodgers leads new kindergartners on a tour of the school.

Westbrooke Elementary

Westbrook Elementary teachers and staff members had a lot of fun preparing for the start of the school year. No ordinary year, WES is celebrating its 10th year. The school’s Partners in Education, including House Blend Cafe, made sure staff members were fueled with muffins and coffee. Lunch was presented by the PTO and catered by Tijuana Flats and more. Teachers got to build their own Tijuana Flats meals, exactly to their liking, as well as enjoy a salsa bar. Crafty Susan also helped beautify the media center. This year’s focus is “Persevering With Pride,” with “pride” representing perseverance, respect, integrity, (self) discipline and effort. WES teachers aim to infuse these traits with their students throughout the year.

Westbrooke Elementary teachers enjoy muffins and coffee during preplanning week.

Tijuana Flats caters lunch at Westbrooke Elementary during preplanning week.

Westbrooke Elementary teachers prepare to meet their students for the year.

SunRidge Middle

SunRidge Middle Principal Patricia Bowen-Painter greets students in the car line.

Eighth-grader Cameron Martin bikes to his bus stop on the way to SunRidge Middle for the first day of school.

Sarah Gunson helps Toby, her seventh-grade son, carry his instrument to the band room at SunRidge Middle.

Sixth-graders (l. to r.) Kaelyn Kantor, Tabitha Driscoll, Addison Malmberg and Kallyn Maday wait for the bus to take them to SunRidge Middle for their first day of school.

Kamryn Poole is ready for eighth grade at SunRidge Middle.

Et Al

Sister Dorothy Sayers (right), principal of Holy Family Catholic School, greets each student at the front gates, which she has done every school day for the past 20 years.


Baylen Holliday (left) and Elise Kim patiently wait during preplanning week at Christ The King Lutheran PreSchool while their parents join other teachers and staff to prepare for new students.


The First Academy staff was full of joy and excitement as students arrived for their first day of school. The 2017-18 year is special to the school as it celebrates its 30th anniversary with record enrollment. TFA students entered campus through a tunnel of balloons as the senior class cheered them on with the lion mascots, Rowdy and Rowdette. New middle- and high-schoolers were greeted by a student ambassador, who served as their “buddy” for the first week. Upper-school teens started their first week on a special retreat to take time in fellowship and team-building with one another. TFA faculty and staff members are looking forward to the best school year to come!

Although we try to ensure that all information presented above is the most current, correct and dependable available, we do rely on others for the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin and Cornerstone Publishing & Multi-Media LLC cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information presented here, nor does mentioning it constitute an endorsement. School News is welcome and may be mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL  34786; or emailed to Lauren@kearneypublishing.com. ♥

Please follow and like us: