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School out for summer
Emotional years end for teachers, pupils
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Whitlow Elementary educator Nathalie Heil waves to departing students Friday. - photo by Jennifer Sami
Class of 2010

Forsyth’s remaining public high school graduations are Tuesday as follows:

• South Forsyth: 11 a.m.
• West Forsyth: 3 p.m.
• North Forsyth: 7 p.m.

All three are in the Arena at the Gwinnett Center.

Note: Forsyth Central’s graduation was Saturday. Source: Forsyth County school system
Surrounded by her students and holding a beach ball, Sophie Watson said goodbye for the 21st time Friday.

The Whitlow Elementary School teacher spent the last minutes of school playing a beach ball version of musical chairs with her second-graders.

“It’s challenging to contain the excitement,” Watson said.

Whitlow is one of five new schools that opened in August. While some students had to get accustomed to their new surroundings, just being in school was a new experience for Lauren Fields.

With kindergarten under her belt, Fields said she’s excited about coming back as a first-grader and “getting to sit at a desk.”

But first, Fields and her rising fourth-grade brother Sebastian will head to Texas, where she said “we’re going to go to a museum and go camping.”

Watson said she’s not sure about her summer plans, but that didn’t stop her students from asking to tag along.

“It makes me a little sad,” Watson said of the last day of the school year.

But the good news, she said, is her students have “already said they’re coming to see me at open house” next school year.

While waiting to be picked up at the end of the day, a couple of students started crying.

Andrea Moore, school counselor, was by their side with a hug and a cheerful message that they get to come back in just a couple of months.

“One little girl was just saying she didn’t want the year to end,” Moore said. “It’s our first year ... and to see that the kids have already attached and bonded so much to the staff is such a wonderful feeling.”

Moore said she’s going to spend her summer with her own family, relaxing after the long year.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and it has been wonderful,” she said. “It’s amazing how you can start the whole year not knowing any of these kids’ names and I myself was crying today because I’m going to miss these kids all summer.

“It’s amazing how quickly we all become family.”

And how quickly summer can pass. The 2010-11 school year begins Aug. 9.