The little boy thought it was
a bit funny that his principal has a principal.
He was climbing on the playground at Arnett C. Lines Elementary School when Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Leonard stopped by to welcome students and teachers back to school. Leonard explained who he was, giving the boy a business card.
Barrington Community Unit School District 220’s first day was Tuesday and Leonard continued his longstanding tradition of visiting every school in the district to talk and welcome students.
Leonard started the day at 6:30 a.m. at Barrington High School then headed out to the middle schools.
He was at Lines Elementary just before children started arriving with brand new backpacks, brightly colored gym shoes and T-shirts. Parents drove, pushed stroller and walked dogs and many carried cameras to capture images of the day.
“You guys ready to go?” he asked two children arriving early for school. “What grade are you in? First?” he asked one little girl. “First is the best grade to go to,” Leonard said, adding his mom was a first grade teacher.
Her brother is going into third grade. Math is tough in third grade, Leonard said. “Good luck,” he said.
One girl didn't seem so excited.
“Are you excited for school?” Leonard asked.
“Uh, kind of,” she said.
The first day of school is fun and many children are excited to see their friends and meet their new teachers, Leonard said. There’s an excitement surrounding the day.
The second day is tiring, he said. It just takes a while to get into the routine, he said.
Leonard enjoys talking with schoolchildren throughout the school year. When he has a bad day, he tries to find second graders to have lunch with because they put things in perspective.
“Their main concern is who to play with at recess and whether they get a fruit cup,” he said.