As a school bus approached Adams Elementary School in Costa Mesa on Tuesday morning, several teachers and new Principal Stacy de Boom-Howard stood on the sidewalk ready to welcome students to the 2018-19 school year.
In some ways, Tuesday also marked de Boom-Howard’s first day of school.
She is taking the helm after serving as principal on special assignment in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District for five years, focusing on math, science, music and physical education programs. Before that, she was principal at Paularino Elementary School in Costa Mesa for seven years.
“I’ve heard nothing but glowing remarks about the community and school,” de Boom-Howard said. “I’m happy to come back to a school site and I’m looking forward to seeing smiles on kids’ faces.”
Throughout the morning, de Boom-Howard made her way through the campus, introducing herself to everyone she came in contact with and helping parents find their students’ classrooms.
Some parents crowded outside Room 2 and watched teacher Michelle Sperling greet each of her new students with a handshake.
“Welcome!” Sperling said.
Some children rushed through the school gates to meet with friends or head to the playground. Others lingered with their parents, taking commemorative photos until the bell rang signaling the start of the school day.
Uriel Rosete, 11, and his sister Yesenia, 7, stood on the blacktop, hugging their dad.
Uriel, who is beginning sixth grade, said he’s looking forward to learning new skills in math, his favorite subject. Yesenia, an incoming second-grader, said she was eager to see her friends again after the summer break.
Deron Mendoza, 8, sat at the lunch tables with his mother. They were “here before anyone else,” he said. The third-grader said he was so excited about making new friends that he “got up before my alarm clock rang.”
Daphaine Qurioz, 7, showed similar enthusiasm for the start of the school year.