Soon to be 2nd graders doing "the Friday Dance" for the last time in Mrs Absalom's 1st grade class to end the school year at South Side Elementary Wednesday. Tony Duncan/johnson City Press
Wednesday was a bittersweet day for many students across Johnson City.
For some, the anticipation of summer fun was too much to handle, while others were sad to be saying goodbye to friends and teachers as the school year came to a close.
“You’re happy that it’s going to be summer but then you’re sad because you have to leave teachers and friends,” said Indian Trail Intermediate School sixth-grader Lindsey Edwards.
Many of Edwards’ friends felt the same way as they prepared to leave the halls of Indian Trail behind for Liberty Bell Middle School.
Anna Marchessault, another sixth-grader, said she was both excited and nervous about heading to a new school next year, but she was looking forward to what the summer will bring.
“It’s hard to transfer to a new place that you don’t really know about, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the first day goes at Liberty Bell,” she said.
Being a part of the first group of students to complete the first year of Indian Trail Intermediate School was a major accomplishment for students like Edwards and Marchessault.
The school transitioned from a middle school to an intermediate school at the beginning of the school year.
“It’s been really special because we are the first group that gets to go through. It’s a really nice school and there’s a ton of great teachers here that are like our second family away from home,” Edwards said.
Indian Trail Principal Dave Peccia said the first year of the newly-configured school exceeded all of his expectations.
With a higher level of education and a host of new programs offered to students, Peccia said the school’s transition was as smooth as could be.
“It seemed like it was the best of both worlds, at least to me as the principal. Our fifth-graders were given more opportunities they would not receive during elementary school,” he said. “Another thing that we noticed was we just felt our sixth-graders stayed younger longer. It seemed like they were more of an elementary age than a middle school age, and I think that was maybe due to the fact that the seventh-graders moved up.”
Progress on the expansion project at Indian Trail is moving fast, and Peccia said he hopes the two new wings will be completed by the time students return next year.
“Hopefully, everything is on track, of course you never know with the weather. A lot of the outside is done so even if the weather does get bad, they’re working inside so it’s not going to affect them,” he said.
Across the city at South Side Elementary School, students were celebrating the last day of school with the traditional end-of-the-year talent show.
Friends Drea Hill, a soon-to-be fourth-grader, and Marlee Archer, a soon-to-be fifth-grader, were excited about their summer plans but they also didn’t want to leave their friends.
“My year here with Mrs. Dosher has been really fun and really funny,” Hill said. “The last day is really sad because I’m going to miss all my friends.”
Archer will be heading to Indian Trail next year, and although she’s a little apprehensive about a new school, she is looking forward to meeting new friends.
“I’m a little scared because I might not be able to see my friends, but I know I’ll make new ones,” she said.