As smiling students filed from the exits Monday afternoon, June 17, and walked toward the bus circle in front of Mullen-Hall Elementary School, they were met not only with a sunny blue sky but also with a line of cheering, waving, applauding teachers.
Monday was the last day of the school year for all seven Falmouth Public Schools—and it was a half-day, too.
“Have a great summer! See you in September!” Teresa Jazo, Mullen-Hall’s music teacher, called out among her colleagues as her students passed by.
This farewell ceremony is an annual event at Mullen-Hall and some of the other schools.
Joining the line of teachers was Superintendent Lori S. Duerr, who was finishing up her first year in Falmouth.
“I came here today from Lawrence School, where all the teachers were on the lawn waving goodbye and clapping at all the buses. What a special thing! I’d never experienced anything like that. I’m here to be a part of how special Falmouth is. It’s these little extra steps that show how much the staff cares about the students,” she said.
Dr. Duerr said it has been a great school year, though it went “a little too fast” for her.
“But it’s all good. Everyone’s ready for the summer,” she said.
Fourth-grader Mya Desrosiers, who will be moving from Mullen-Hall to Morse Pond School, looked glum as she walked with her parents past the school’s newly planted grass on the front lawn.
When asked if she would miss Mullen-Hall, Mya looked down sadly.
Mullen-Hall Principal Nancy Ashworth said, “It’s a big transition. Kids are here for five years. It’s a long time being together, and I know they’re going to do well [at Morse Pond]. I just know it.”
“It’s been a really busy year,” Karyn Paine, an inclusion teacher, said. “I think we got a lot done. I think everybody worked really hard, and I think we all have a well-deserved break coming up.”
Wearing retiree sashes were retiring inclusion teachers Priscilla Carignan and Martha Asendorf, who got their own special goodbye from their colleagues.
“I’ve been in Falmouth for 20 years, and I’ve worked at Morse Pond, East [Falmouth Elementary], North [Falmouth Elementary] and the school administration building as well as at Mullen-Hall,” Ms. Asendorf said.
“I’ve been at Mullen-Hall for 23 years. I’ve worked in the regular classroom at all the grade levels. It’s bittersweet. It’s exciting, but I’ll miss the people I work with, and I’ll miss the kids,” Ms. Carignan said.
Ms. Ashworth said, “Our Mullen-Hall Makos, we’re really committed to learning, committed to being kind, and they deserve a wonderful summer.”
She noted that a new gymnasium floor would be installed this summer.
Behind her, the bus drivers honked their horns as they took a second loop around the circle for an extra wave from the teachers.