On, Wednesday morning, the first day of school, KLCC's Rachael McDonald caught up with Springfield Interim Superintendent Sue Rieke-Smith at Hamlin Middle School.
Rieke-Smith: "I'm just kind of sticking my head in saying thank you to folks…"
Rieke-Smith toured Hamlin with Principal Kevin Wright. She met teachers and observed the sixth grade assembly. Earlier in the morning, Rieke-Smith rode the bus with students. She describes one kindergartner.
Rieke-Smith: "This little gal got on the bus and her pigtails were just flying and she's just shaking from head to toe and I said, 'Honey, how are you?' And she said, 'I'm just so very excited. I can't stand it.' And then the freshman get on the bus and it's like, 'Do I have to go to school?'"
Rieke-Smith was appointed interim Superintendent after Hertica Martin announced last spring she was leaving the district.
Rieke-Smith: "I'm just very humbled and privileged to be here and look forward to a great year working with some really outstanding people."
The school board will be hiring a new superintendent, Rieke-Smith hasn't said if she'll seek the permanent position.
Hamlin is starting the year with a huge 6th grade class-- 236 students. Principal Kevin Wright says the whole student body cannot fit in the gym for assemblies. Thanks to a voter-passed bond, the district is going to build a new Hamlin Middle School in the next couple of years.