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Twelve Bridges Middle School gets off to smooth start Tuesday

By: Chayla Furlong The News Messenger
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At Twelve Bridges Middle School in Lincoln, the oldest children entering the three-year-old campus were confident, parading into school wearing self-coordinated outfits, looking like miniature adults on a mission. The youngest, dressed just as carefully, with fresh haircuts and new backpacks, looked down at their schedules, then scanned the buildings in a panic, trying to locate their classes. “Where’s the bathroom?” was a common question, along with “How do I get in the gym?” Originating from the newly arrived sixth-graders, these questions were answered quickly and with a smile by all faculty and staff on hand. Tuesday was the first day of school, and except for the attendance system being down, the middle school was buzzing with a productive energy. “The kids are awesome, especially the sixth-graders,” said Mary Jane Masys, a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher. “They are so excited and really sweet — it’s going to be a great year.” The sixth-grade students agreed; they’ve been looking forward to this day ever since their excitement at being fifth-graders expired sometime during the middle of the previous school year. A group of students ate lunch and chattered together in co-ed fashion, proving that boys and girls can get along. Cassidy Cook said she was excited for the parties they might have in class. “They have cakes and stuff,” she said. Danny Herbert said he’s been looking forward to this for a while, because “I thought it’d be fun to switch classes.” “I was most nervous about the eighth-graders,” added Makayla Hordyk, who confirmed that her fear had passed after the first day got under way. “We hope to have a nice, smooth year,” Principal Stacey Brown said. “We had a wonderful first two years, and we expect (this year) to be that – and better.” He described the campus as always having an academic push, and expressed the desire of the administration and the faculty for the students to try their hardest and achieve the best result. “Our top priority is to help the students apply themselves academically,” Brown said. The eighth-graders seemed slightly less thrilled than their sixth-grade schoolmates. Thirteen-year-old Casey Suchomel said she was ready to move on. “I’m excited because I really want to graduate,” she said. Her friend, Hailey Mitchell, agreed, stating, “We’ve been here for three years, and it’s kind of the same.” “Yeah, it’s getting boring, we need to go to high school,” finished Suchomel. Steven Venturino, who hopes to play for the basketball team, noticed the higher numbers among his student body. “Classes are different (this year),” he said. “And there are a lot more kids.” This year, the seventh- and eighth-graders eat together during lunch, which is different from the last school year. The teachers have more students to work with in their classrooms, and there is no busing available for the Twelve Bridges Middle School athletic program. “There are less teachers, and so teachers have five classes a day instead of three,” said Jennifer Chandler, an eighth-grade language arts teacher. Chandler has been at Twelve Bridges Middle School since it opened three years ago, and has taught school in the Lincoln area for 10 years. She is excited and ready for the new school year. “We have really exciting new teachers who are really promising, and a great student population with kids that are bright, articulate and friendly,” Chandler said. “There is a lot of positive energy on campus, we have a good vibe.” Almost every employee on campus spoke of the future of the students. “Hopefully we will have some fun and create positive energy,” Chandler said.. “My whole thing is getting them ready for the high school and the future.”