Well, my young friends, all good things must come to an end — and so it is with summer.

As we know, our local schools will open their doors for the 2012 -2013 academic year on Monday, Aug. 27. Some of you will be walking those halls for the first time and some of you will be walking them for the last time, before moving on to your next level of education.

We wish each of you a happy and successful year at Rodgers Forge Elementary, St. Pius X and Dumbarton Middle schools.

Prior to opening day, several of our schools will hold preparatory functions.


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A back-to-schoolpicnic for St. Pius X School families will take place on the evening of Aug. 22.

On Aug. 23, parents of kindergarten students at Rodgers Forge Elementary School will gather for the back-to-school night.

Students at St. Pius X and Rodgers Forge elementary schools will also enjoy a "sneak-a-peek" event at their respective institutions on Aug. 24. This exciting event allows students to visit their new classrooms, meet their home room and other teachers and catch up with classmates.

Those entering middle school at Dumbarton Middle School will participate in a sixth-grade orientation on Aug. 24.

Back-to-school night for parents of first- to fifth-graders at Rodgers Forge will be held on Aug. 28.

Meanwhile, many of our young neighbors in Gaywood are now attending West Towson Elementary School, which also opens on Aug. 27. We certainly hope that their school year will be filled with fun, excitement and achievements.

It seems our community associations are also gearing up for the 2012 -2013 year. To that end, Rodgers Forge and Gaywood associations will have annual meetings to elect residents slated for next year's boards.

Rodgers Forge Community Inc.'s meeting is set for Sept. 12. The Gaywood Community Association will meet for its meeting on Sept. 15. More information on these meetings will appear in the next column — but mark your calendars.

Rodgers Forge residents will be happy to learn that at the August board meeting, it was decided to include detailed recycling information in the upcoming Rodgers Forge directory.

Fifth District County Councilman David Marks recently announced that Maryland has awarded Baltimore County a grant to work toward the Towson Bike Beltway. It is greatly hoped that this beltway will alleviate the Towson congestion by enticing motorists to switch to bikes.

Rodgers Forge board member Stu Sirota co-chairs the Fifth District Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and was central to writing this grant application. Thank you, Stu!

Cindy Sommers, president of Gaywood Community Association, was thrilled to note that the Gaywood Garden is flourishing — beets are ready for harvest, parsley is ready to be snipped, and other herbs, such as basil and chives, are sprouting.

Cindy told us that the tomato plants in the children's garden are thriving and that the flowers are just exquisite.

We join with all of our readers in congratulating former Rodgers Forge resident, Michael Phelps, also known as the most decorated Olympian of all times.

Twenty-two medals — 18 gold, two silver and two bronze — an unheard of feat. He is the first male swimmer to win gold in the same event in three consecutive Olympics — twice, in the 200-meter individual medley and in the 100-meter butterfly.

There are not enough superlatives to describe Michael's tremendous accomplishment. And to think that he is a home town boy!

In the late 1990s, when he had not yet entered the world stage, his sister Whitney taught our son, Tommy, at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. One day I called her to change a practice and Michael answered.

I said "Is this the famous Michael Phelps?" and he laughed — my one brush with the Phelps phenomenon!

Till we meet again ...