Renaissance Academy begins new school year

Librarian Lindsay Engler with 4th Grade teacher Janelle Tetrault (facing away) in the Renaissance Academy library on the first day of school for 2013-14. Staff Photo by J. Finneran

The Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville reopened for class on Tuesday, Aug. 20, and the enthusiasm of the students and staff alike was evident to all moving through the halls of the school.

The academy, a K-12 college-prep charter school, has just over 1000 students enrolled for the new year, and school Chief Executive Officer Gina Guarino Buli said the day was a “great one to start school”.

“It’s nice to be back and starting our 14th year at Renaissance Academy,” she said. “It is very exciting to have all of our staff in place and our student body fully enrolled.”

Kristie Hawk is the Lower School Principal at Renaissance Academy. Following a morning assembly in which she offered a welcoming message to several dozen of the nearly 600 Lower School students, she shared the following with The Phoenix Reporter & Item:

“The first day of school is always my favorite day of the school year. There is always a lot of excitement that the students bring back to school with them – they are happy to see their friends, they are excited to meet their new teachers, (and) excited to put on their new school shirt if they switched from second to third grade.”

Hawk added that she looks forward to helping the students maintain the fresh excitability of returning to school.

“We like to capture that and relive it through the school year each day, and remind the students about that first day of school and how excited they were to return,” she said.

In addition to the many students who are coming to the school for the first time, there are new faces among the staff as well, such as Spanish instructor Miryam DeLuca.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of the Renaissance family,” she said. “My co-workers have been very nice to me and have made me feel welcome. It has been a very easy (transition) and I appreciate it. I am happy to be here.”

DeLuca, who previously taught in a language immersion school in Summit New Jersey, compared her own ‘first day of school’ energy to that of the students.

“I feel the same as many of the students probably feel – excited and nervous. I am excited at what is coming this year… …to meet new people at the school and to find my way around.”