Quarryville Elementary School students and teachers stretched Read Across America Day into a full week of activities.
Each day last week had a theme from the books of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
When she started teaching, Rebecca Gajecki didn't plan to leave the classroom.
That's not how her career has progressed.
Late last month, she was appointed principal of Quarryville Elementary School. She will begin that job on July 1.
"I never really wanted to become a principal but I had great mentors at Solanco and they guided me as my career progressed," she said last week. "When I started work on my administration certificate, Dr. [Brian] Bliss was my mentor and he got me involved in projects in the various schools."
A contractor started tearing down a house on Quarryville's Park Ave. this week to give children in the adjacent elementary school more room to play.
The project will also give the Solanco School District additional parking space for Quarryville Elementary School and the district's administration office.
A former Quarryville Elementary student has begun a project to revive the school's Discovery Garden.
Quintin Robinson, a Solanco High School sophomore and a Life Scout with Troop 58, started cleaning out the old garden on Saturday afternoon, September 13.
He came up with the idea a year ago.
"I was at the school and a custodian came up to me and asked me if I knew anyone who needed an Eagle project," he said.
Quarryville Elementary School has a full-time counselor for the first time in recent history.
Mary Kent comes to Quarryville after previously working as a long-term substitute in the Boyertown School District.
QE held a "Meet the Counselor" program Friday morning, August 15.
For the past eleven years, Scott Weyman has been teaching history.
After working at Solanco High School for five years, he moved to Smith Middle School.
Now he's changed course. Weyman will be teaching instrumental music in the district's two middle schools and beginning instrumental music at Quarryville Elementary School.
The move takes his second career - teaching and playing music - and makes it full-time.
Not all of the school district's construction projects will be finished by the time Solanco students start the school year on Monday, August 25.
But the major work will be done and the remaining projects won't interfere with the operation of the schools, said Dr. Timothy Shrom, the district's business manager.
Even before students leave for their summer vacations, contractors will be getting ready for projects at two of the district's schools.
One project will remake the entrance to Quarryville Elementary School. The second will build a weight room at Solanco High School and renovate the space it has occupied in the building.
He doesn't know what the prize is, but Solanco Food Service Director Matt Kirchoff wants the district's schools to win the state's latest competition.
"We've entered each school in Pennsylvania's school breakfast challenge," he said last week.
To meet the state's goal, each school has to increase the percentage of students eating breakfast 30 percent.
Quarryville Elementary School hosted a family engagement night to help students and parents focus on the importance of homework.
The Title 1 Homework Treasure Hunt began after school on Monday, October 21, with Quarryville students doing their homework in the library.
Quarryville teachers and Solanco High School National Honor Society students were on hand to provide assistance and answer questions from the younger students.
Many of the toughest tasks have already been completed, but the custodial staff at Quarryville Elementary School is still busy prepping for the start of the school year.
"The last week is better than a month ago," custodian Carl Cross said. "We're just pulling everything together."
A month ago, Cross and his co-workers cleaned a majority of the rooms in just 11 days. The job was more challenging this year because Quarryville Elementary hosted summer school classes. During summer school, they were able to clean the rooms in the D wing, which houses specialty classes such as ESOL and speech.
He learned to teach at an elementary school. Now Brian Booher will be helping the teachers at Quarryville Elementary School reach their students. Booher, 38, was named principal of the school effective July 1. He replaces James O'Brien, who retired at the end of the school year. The new principal came to Solanco in 2011, hired to be the assistant principal of both Swift and Smith middle schools. In 2012, he was assigned to Swift as the
assistant principal after the district named one principal, Paul Gladfelter, to cover both schools. After graduating from college, he worked in administration at the college level. He was employed by several colleges, including Marietta College and Drexel University. At those schools, he recruited students and helped them with financial aid.
The Solanco School District is working on several building projects that will improve security, make buildings more energy efficient, and provide additional classroom space. One of the more pressing is changing the entrance to Quarryville Elementary School.
"We're looking at options," said Dr. Martin J. Hudacs, superintendent of the Solanco School District.