Last day brings excitement, nerves for Northwest Middle students

A group of bright-faced sixth-graders sat in the lunchroom of Northwest Middle School.

"At 12:16 p.m., you are considered seventh-grade students," Principal David Watkins said. The statement was met with cheers and screams.


Kids raced around, signing yearbooks and burning off energy for the last day of school. Outside, kids played basketball while others cartwheeled through the grass, the enthusiasm of the last day buzzing in the air.

The excitement radiated from students, their eyes shining and their faces flushed with energy.

Makayla Orwig, a sixth-grader, said they'd gotten to play a "Just Dance" video game during the last day. And in science, she said, they got to make ice cream.

The best part?

"Getting to eat it," Orwig said, smiling.

Austin Schemm, also a sixth-grader, said they'd gotten to spend a lot of the day doing different activities. They got to play board games, he said.

Schemm's excited for his seventh-grade year, he said, because he got into honors classes for the next year. But he's a little nervous, he said, about those classes.

That mix of excitement and nerves about the upcoming year was felt by lot of the students.

Seventh-grader Emily Hahn said she's a little nervous, because next year her school will also likely include students from New Windsor Middle School.

New Windsor is one of three schools likely to close as the year comes to a close, with its student body set to be split between Northwest and Mount Airy middle schools. In December, the Carroll County Board of Education voted to close North Carroll, New Windsor Middle and Charles Carroll elementary schools at the end of the school year. The Maryland State Department of Education is expected to hear appeals for the schools to remain open June 28.

But for others, this chance for new students is a chance for friendship.

Orwig, while a little nervous about next year, is excited because one of her best friends will now go to school with her.

"This is just exciting for us getting to see each other," she added.

Sixth-grader Kaden Burdett said she's excited to make new friends next year but is going to miss her teachers.


Among the excitement were some bittersweet moments for educators.

Cheri Easterday, an instructional assistant for the sixth-grade students, said the best part of the job is the kids. And when they move onto a new grade, she's going to miss them, Easterday said.

"When a kid comes up to you and thanks you for the help that you give, that means a lot," she added.

With the end of school brings many things for the kids of Northwest Middle. Some talked of plans for trips to the pool, others of trips to Aruba for vacation.

But whatever the summer holds, the kids are facing it head on, bursting through the doors to summer with excitement.