Hallways were filled with students again on Tuesday for the first day of the 2019-2020 school year. Berkeley Glenn Elementary School in Waynesboro was filled with new and familiar faces of both teachers and students.
Allison Dimmig celebrated the first day of her first year at Berkeley Glenn on Tuesday. A recent graduate of Messiah College in Pennsylvania, Dimmig is originally from the Washington D.C. area.
“My husband and I have friends here,” she said of what originally attracted her to Waynesboro. “We loved Waynesboro.”
After job searching, she fell in love with Berkeley Glenn. Dimmig teaches third grade and all subjects.
“I love working with children,” she said. “I like how much creativity it requires. I love that challenge.”
For Dimmig, it’s her first time having her own classroom and not being an intern or student teacher. She hoped to get acquainted with the best teaching strategy for her and the children.
Diane Lundstorm, fourth grade teacher, was also getting settled on the first day of school. This is her 31st year returning to the same school and the same classroom. She taught sixth grade for a year and taught fifth grade for 30 years. This year, she’s taking on a new change and teaching fourth grade.
Lundstorm was born and raised in Waynesboro.
“I love this whole Berkeley Glenn community,” she said. “It’s what’s kept me here for so long. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. It’s like an extended family.”
Her favorite parts of teaching are watching kids grow, coming up with new lessons and learning from the people around her.
After 31 years, Lundstorm said first days are still fun. Usually both students and teachers get a little nervous and excited.
“The main thing is rules and routines for the first couple of weeks,” she said. “Once rules and routines are down, a lot of things will fall into place.”
This year, the school is focusing heavily on positive reinforcement.
“Teachers do anyway, but we’re being more intentional,” Lundstorm said. “Intentionally catch good behavior and positive reinforcement. Lesson plans focus on these traits. We’re dwelling on positive.”
The three words of focus in Lundstorm’s classroom are to be respectful, kind and responsible. She hopes kids not only learn academically in her class, but also learn life skills.
Lundstorm offered advice for new teachers.
“Make sure your student knows the classroom is a safe place and you value them as a student,” she said. “If they know you value them as a person and student, it’s amazing what they’ll do for you.”