Despite enhanced security protocols, the first day of school went off without a hitch on Thursday in Hannibal, according to Rich Stilley, business manager for the public school district.
“It went very well,” he said. “I have not seen or heard anything that’s been negative today. I’ve not heard anything from Dr. (Jill) Janes, Mrs. (Susan) Johnson, or Mrs. (Maria) Mundle, and we’ve all been out and about. I think today has gone very well.”
New door systems operated as expected at both the high school and Hannibal Career & Technical Center.
“They unlocked when they were supposed to at 7 o’clock to allow the students in when they started to show up, and they locked when they were supposed to at 7:50 this morning,” said Stilley.
Despite the fact new security procedures were also in place at the district’s elementary schools, no “bottlenecks” developed when parents showed up wanting to walk youngsters to their classroom. At most schools, building administrators were posted at doors to greet parents and students, and to monitor who was entering the buildings.
“I have not heard anything from the elementary schools,” said Stilley, when asked about congestion issues. “I think maybe the litmus test is I’ve not had any complaints from parents or patrons.”
Transportation also ran smoothly Thursday.
“I talked to Brent Meyer, the transportation director, about a quarter of 8 this morning and he said everything was going fine,” said Stilley, speculating that Day One’s success was due to “dry runs” carried out by the transportation staff on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Stilley extended the school district’s thanks to the Police Department for its role Thursday morning.
“Chief Lyndell Davis sent some extra officers to the middle school and high school today, not that we expected anything, but it was just to have some extra presence around. It was very welcomed,” he said.
At Hannibal-LaGrange University, while classes don’t start until Tuesday, Aug. 27, new students were welcomed onto campus by president and first lady, Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Allen, as they entered the main gate Thursday. They were then met by the “Swarm Squad,” a group of over 40 upper classmen, faculty and staff responsible for moving all new students into their dorm rooms. They unloaded vehicles for students and parents.
A Walk of Honor for new students, from the Roland Fine Arts Center to the Burt Administration Building, took place Thursday afternoon. Students then gathered around the Trinity Tree, located between the L.A. Foster Student Center and the Burt Administration Building, for a final word of encouragement and a prayer of dedication.