Editor’s Letter Sept/Oct 2016

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I don’t remember my first day of school very clearly. But from what my mom told me, I didn’t even look back after she dropped me off in my kindergarten classroom.

I was still 4 years old, one of those kids with a September birthday right near the cutoff deadline. But I was READY. Ready to play on that playground in front of the school, break out my Care Bears lunchbox for the world to see, learn Spanish from the zany Mrs. Cass I had heard about from my older brother.

That feeling in 1989 carried over year after year. The excitement waned a bit, of course. But I always felt this little tug of excited anticipation the night before “The First Day of School.”

I believe there is something refreshing about this time of the year—a combination of the beginning of school and the start of my favorite season, fall. Everything feels new. New school supplies, new friends, new teachers. A new, fresh slate for everyone to (hopefully) start out on the right foot.

Then a few weeks into the school routine, new crisp weather that snaps us out of our summer stupor, and new, beautiful scenery as the leaves begin to change and the Blue Ridge Mountains turn shades of gold, orange and red.

In this “Back to School Issue” of Lynchburg Living, we aim to capture that feeling of rebirth in a special section. Quite literally, this is a brand new start for Heritage High School students, teachers and staff as they begin the year in a brand new building. We took a special tour to see the coolest parts of the facility on page 60. Also, parents and students are celebrating a new addition at Linkhorne Elementary School. On page 70, we tell you the story behind their new playground and how the community came together to make it a reality.

Then on pages 73-78, adjust your “Back to School” attitude in a special feature. Counselors and school officials offer their advice on navigating some of the biggest problems students of all ages face. We’re also diving into an issue that’s on a lot of parents’ minds in this 21st Century—their children and those gadgets. Flip to page 81 as we try to answer the question—how much is too much time on a smartphone, tablet or laptop? And how do schools try to balance this out in the classroom?

On a side note, by the time this issue comes out, I will be adjusting to life at home with a newborn. Many thanks to former editor Jennifer Redmond for stepping in as I take a few weeks off.

I don’t even want to think about my daughter starting school.

But once we get to that milestone, I hope she is as excited as I was—so excited and confident, in fact, that she doesn’t even think to look back at me, her tearful mom.

Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor
Shelley@lynchburgmag.com

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