MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Matthew C. Perry School students, staff and parents attended the first day of school assembly on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Aug. 29, 2016.
However, this year is different from previous years as it will be the final year students hold their first day at the current schools.
Students and staff are scheduled to transition from the old schools to the newly constructed ones halfway through the school year.
“It’s bitter sweet,” said Lorenzo Brown, principal of M.C. Perry High School. “There’s a lot of history at this school. You can feel it just by walking in. Knowing at this time, 365 days from now, that we’ll be in another school is exciting.”
Brown said rather than adjusting to what the current school has to offer, the new school is built to accommodate the size of the student population and curriculum the teachers have to offer.
“We sort of make this building meet our needs,” said Brown. “The new school is built according to our needs. There are specific classrooms built for specific classes. Here, we take a regular classroom and make it a science room. But in the new building, we have science rooms that are made for science. We’re excited about this year.”
During the first day of school assembly, staff members addressed the students to set forth their expectations and provide them with information on the coming school year.
Col. Richard Fuerst, commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni, introduced himself to the students followed by his hopes for them. Fuerst and Brown then ‘rang in’ the school year with a bell bringing summer for the students to an end.
After the assembly, students obtained their schedule for the year and made their way to their first class, feeling both nervous and excited.
“I’m a tad bit nervous with all the new classes and the transition to the new school but at the same time excited,” Zachery Carter, seventh grader at M.C. Perry High School. “I’ve been here for three years, so going to a new school is exciting. I’m ready for the new classrooms, bigger halls and feel like it’ll only be an improvement.”