A new school year and a new principal greet Westwood View, but the first day rituals remain the same

New principal Kathy Keith greeted students at the door Friday morning on the first day of school at Westwood View Elementary in Westwood.
New principal Kathy Keith greeted students at the door Friday morning on the first day of school at Westwood View Elementary in Westwood.

This morning marked the start of a new school year for students in the Shawnee Mission School District and at Westwood View Elementary – along with several other SMSD schools – parents and students were greeted by a new principal.

Kathy Keith was the principal awaiting students this morning. It is Keith’s first year at a Shawnee Mission school, but she has 12 years experience as an elementary principal. She spent seven years at Grain Valley and five years at Independence schools, overlapping with SMSD Superintendent Jim Hinson.

“It’s a very tight community,” Keith said Friday morning, “with good, stable teachers and lots of energy.” Parents, she has learned already, are very supportive of the community.

That was a sentiment echoed by parents Allison Kort and Meagan Dorton, who were dropping off their children for another Westwood View school year. The school is small enough, they said, that everyone knows you by name and parents are very involved in school life.

It was a new year with a new principal, but the rituals were the same: lots of picture taking, hugs for old friends and teachers, a little nervousness but lots of excitement.

Kindergarteners do not start until next week. Only seventh graders and freshmen started at middle and high school today – those buildings will be filled on Monday.

Kara Armstrong tried to get both daughters to smile at the same time for first day shots.
Kara Armstrong tried to get both daughters to smile at the same time for first day shots.
The intermittent rain forced some the greetings indoors.
The intermittent rain forced some the greetings indoors.
Lots of picture taking marked the first day.
Lots of picture taking marked the first day.