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Patriot Bremerton

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 | Vol. 16, No. 31 | 50¢

Kinders are often the most well-behaved on school bus

By Seraine Page

When only one kindergarten student is forgotten by their parent at a bus stop, it’s a good day for a school bus driver. Bremerton School District bus driver Krystle Macfarlane only had one student left at the end of her route Monday afternoon. September 9 marked the first day of school for kindergarten students in the district and is generally the most hectic day, the bus driver said. Before working as a bus driver, she worked as a tour guide in Alaska. “I think today we got it pretty easy,” said the seventhyear veteran. “This is a good day. They’re being good kids today.” Upon arrival at Armin Jahr Elementary on Monday afternoon, Macfarlane took roll call to make sure she had all the correct students on the bus. The “kinders” — as staff kindly call the newbie students — boarded first and were seated in the front of the bus. Backpacks marked with yellow tags indicate new kindergarten students, and upon arriving on the bus, Macfarlane stamped their hands to make sure she’s got the right students to take home. “I try to organize myself,” she said. “(Losing students) happens a lot in the beginning.” Prior to letting the students off the bus at school for the first time, she insists the kids recite which bus they are on prior to exiting. As a challenge to herself, she tells every student on her bus that she will try and learn their names by the end of October, a month into school. “Once you know their names, they kinda can’t get away with anything,” she said with a laugh. The first day, however, is always full of rules being spouted off by Macfarlane. Surprisingly enough, it isn’t

Leslie Kelly/staff photo

Bremerton High School’s band and drill team perform after the “tiniest parade” at last weekend’s Manette Fest.

Community fun is what it’s all about By Leslie Kelly

The best part of the Manette Fest is getting to see your neighbors. Or at least that’s what Katherine Adams thinks. Adams, who considers herself part of the “bridge people” — those who live near the Manette Bridge

— was out Saturday at the festival with her grandson, Cole, 5, of Kent. “We happened out because we love this little festival,” Adams said. “The best part is that everything’s local and it gives us a chance to see our neighbors and see the kids.” See MANETTE FEST, A13

Board selects Leavell to lead school district By Seraine Page

Seraine Page/Staff photo

An Armin Jahr Elementary kindergarten student boards the afternoon bus to go home from school. Kindergarten students are put in the front seats in order to not miss their stops. the newbies who need a talkin’ to, but the seasoned older students who get a little antsy on the ride home. It seems as though Macfarlane always has her microphone in her hand where it is then pressed against her mouth as she gives orders. “Sit down.”

“Keep your feet and hands in your seat.” “Turn around.” “Stay on your bottom.” Every few minutes, Macfarlane looked in her rearview mirror to scold students not obeying rules. As an experienced driver, Macfarlane said she knows

when she’s got a hyper fifthgrader on her hands. She can pick them out of the crowd right away, and she generally assigns them a “job” in order to keep them occupied and out of trouble. “They like to help. It lets them focus on that,” she said. See KINDERS, A13

Without much ado, the Bremerton Board of Education selected its new superintendent just one day after the new school year started. At last week’s Bremerton School District board meeting, Dr. Aaron Leavell was chosen to serve as the district’s superintendent just one week after the board hosted a public forum to hear community input. Leavell had been serving as the interim superintendent until the board took action. The audience — much smaller than last week’s crowd — clapped in approval, eliciting a broad smile from Leavell. “I’m kind of speechless right now,” Leavell said

after the meeting. “I’m just thrilled to be their superintendent.” Prior to last week, the Bremerton community filled the board room to give opinions on who should enter into former superintendent Lester “Flip” Herndon’s position. The overwhelming consensus seemed to be that Leavell — who was formerly the district’s assistant superintendent — would be an ideal fit. Herndon announced his departure in the middle of August, and his last day was Aug. 31, leaving the district with little time to find a replacement or complete a lengthy search before the 2013-2014 school year began. Herndon’s hope of See LEAVELL, A13

Bremerton Patriot, September 13, 2013  

September 13, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot

Bremerton Patriot, September 13, 2013  

September 13, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot