Success already as family begins year in Sewickley Academy
Simon Stanton lay in his parents' king-size bed face down with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo action figure at his side.
It's a little past 6:30 a.m. and Simon, 4, still is out cold, unaffected by noise or the lights in the bedroom.
His mother, Claire, said it's rare that Simon is the one sleeping in. The mornings usually are dedicated to trying to drag 6-year-old Eli out of bed instead.
But not today — this morning, Eli already is dressed — albeit with a mild case of bed head — fixing a bowl of Fruit Loops cereal at the dining room table under the watchful eye of his father, David.
Eli said he couldn't sleep in because he was too excited about his first day of school at Sewickley Academy.
The Stanton family moved to Edgeworth from Squirrel Hill, primarily so the children could attend Sewickley Academy, Claire's alma mater.
Though she admitted to being nervous about sending her children to a new school, she knew they'd be fine at the academy. Eli was going into first grade, and Simon already had classroom experience at Shady Lane School in Point Breeze before starting this school year as a prekindergartner.
“We made the mistake with Eli when we didn't send him anywhere first. (Simon) is used to a classroom setting, making friends, instruction from teachers,” Claire said.
She wanted her children to attend Sewickley Academy, she said, because the school focuses on building character above academics. With a strong character, Claire said, the rest comes naturally.
“The most important thing to me is that they love education — that they love learning,” she said.
“I'm trying hard to let them be them. I'm a firm believer that anyone can excel at anything they love.”
Upstairs, as the clock inches closer to 7 a.m., Claire snuggles with a sleepy Simon for a few minutes longer before he declares he is ready to get some breakfast. Over a cup of yogurt, he sneaks in a few minutes of playtime with his Ninja Turtles before getting dressed and ready for school.
To help Claire, who has a broken foot, longtime sitter Greg Kollmar of Arnold arrives about 7:30 a.m. to finish preparing the boys. Then the crew begins its short walk to the school — first dropping Eli off at Kelly Gary's first-grade classroom before taking Simon to the prekindergarten building for his first day — a half day — in Jeanne Otto's room, where he quickly makes friends with other classmates who are building a spaceship out of wooden blocks.
By noon dismissal, Simon is sitting in his cubby and waiting for Greg to pick him up.
Reflecting on his day, with a dimpled smile, he says his favorite part was “playing at the playground.”
Day one is a success.
Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.