County Councilman David Marks, center, cuts the ribbon on the new bike rack at Rodgers Forge Elementary School, flanked by Stu Sirota, chair of the Safe Routes to School Committee, to Marks' left, and Principal Missy Fanshaw, right. The youngsters are members of the Student Government Association. (Submitted photo / August 26, 2012)

Just in time for the start of school, community leaders gathered on Friday, Aug. 24, for the dedication ceremony of the new bike rack at Rodgers Forge Elementary School.

Taking part were 5th District County Councilman David Marks, as well as Stu Sirota, chair of the Safe Routes to School Committee, Missy Fanshaw, principal at Rodgers Forge, as well as a good supply of children, many of them members of the Student Government Association.

The rack project was funded from a $1,000 grant from the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The school system required a cement pad, and Marks said that his office worked with a donor — who wished to remain anonymous — who provided additional funding for that part of the project

The Rodgers Forge Community's Safe Routes to School Committee has worked to ensure that our Rodgers Forge Elementary students learn and employ ways of getting to and from school, and Sirota's efforts as a Rodgers Forge Community board member and chair of the committee, was key to making this happen.

"Many students walk to Rodgers Forge Elementary School, and hopefully the rack encourages bicycling as well," said Marks in a statement.

Sirota also co-chairs the Fifth District Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, which was formed under Marks' initiative.

Did we mention that school is now open? As faculty and staff welcomed students on Monday, Aug.27, this year's parent associations were already in place and eager to go.

Dumbarton Middle School's PTSA Executive Board will consist of Cheri Bond Pegues, president; Ann Shenask, first vice president; Robin Evans, second vice president; Heidi Bunes, treasurer; and Chris Hartstein, secretary.

The PTA Executive Board at Rodgers Forge Elementary School is comprised of co-presidents Chris Bieneman and Kate Sturian; as well as Brooks Morales, vice president for volunteers; Trisha Schwab, vice president of committees; Kathy Maranto, treasurer; and Karen Oakjones Burgess, secretary.

Congratulations to each of these dedicated parents, who give so much of your time to help the schools. Best wishes for a sensational school year.

Cheri Bond Pegues tells us that Dumbarton Middle's Back-to-School night will take place Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m.

We understand that there will be two Back-to-School nights at St. Pius X School. One will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, for Montessori students through the fourth grade, at 7 p.m.

The second one will occur on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. for grades five through eight.

In an attempt to get the eighth-grade students off to a flying start, St. Pius X will have a high school fair on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Looking ahead on the calendar, Dumbarton Middle School will present Rachel's Challenge Program on Nov. 7.

This nationally acclaimed program is based on an essay written by Columbine victim Rachel Scott. It focuses on anti-bullying and a "community" of kindness.

The program will include a day time assembly for all students and an evening parent and community education program. Stay tuned for more information on this outstanding program.

We know that you will also be on the alert for updates on the Michael Phelps celebration. Mention of a tribute for this fabulous former Forger and most decorated Olympian of all times is everywhere.

As you may recall, Marjorie Hampson, director of the Baltimore County Office of Tourism and Promotion, told the Towson Times that county is in the very early planning stages. "We're definitely having something — but what, when, where, I can't tell you," she said.

And Towson High School Principal Jane Barranger said the school is very proud of its "Golden General."

We will just have to sit tight and see what the future brings.

May all of you have a happy Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 3.

Till we meet again ...