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Plant City area schools off to a great start

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Published:   |   Updated: August 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

PLANT CITY Five-year-old Madison Barrett had a one word answer for how she felt about the start of the new school year: Good.

The first-grader was all smiles as her grandmother Judy Fite led her on the campus of Robinson Elementary School. Fite said Madison was eager to start school because several students who went to kindergarten with her would be in her first grade class.

“She’s going to be with all of her friends. She’s quite happy,” Fite said.

The new school year started off well for schools all around Hillsborough County, Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said.

Elia started the first day of classes with a whirlwind tour of 10 schools, including Bryan and Springhead elementary schools in the Plant City area.

At Bryan, Elia and Deputy Superintendent Jeff Eakins took a tour of several classrooms escorted by Principal Cheryl Boddie and Assistant Principal Jarrod Haneline.

Elia said she was impressed with the school’s organization and its smooth operation.

And, she said, she didn’t see a lot of students sad to return to the classroom after the summer with their parents.

“I only one child who was crying for her mother,” Elia said.

Robinson Elementary Principal Alicia Wilkerson said she noticed no glitches on opening day, in part because about half the parents of her 550 students attended an open house the school held the previous evening.

“We went over class assignments and where all the students needed to be,” she said. “We got off to a smooth start.”

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dnicholson@tampatrib.com

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