Today marks the beginning of another school year for students and educators in Carroll County.
And with the new year comes a fresh start for youth, as they prepare to begin the next level of their educational experience.
It's also a new year for some local teachers who will leave the classroom and report to the front office to serve the school system in a different capacity.
One is Barbara Bankard of Westminster.
Ms. Bankard, who spent the last seven years as an extended enrichment resource teacher in Carroll County schools, is the new assistant principal at Mount Airy Middle School.
"I am very excited about my new position and a little anxious, especially now that school is in session," said Ms. Bankard.
After spending 23 years as a teacher, Ms. Bankard admits that she will miss working in the classroom, but she said she looks forward to helping other teachers in her new role.
"I will still be connected to the classroom in that I will be working closely with the teachers," she said.
"Instruction is one of my strengths, and we have a strong staff here at Mount Airy. I want to work with them to help them be effective leaders in the classroom."
Ms. Bankard, the mother of two, praised the Mount Airy teaching staff and the entire county school system.
"I really believe that we have a great school system and our schools do a great job," she said. "I believe that through the curriculum we offer, we are preparing our kids for the future."
Good luck, Ms. Bankard!
Let's hope for some good weather this weekend for all the interesting activities in the Central Carroll area.
One of the highlights will be the 31st annual Steam and Gas Roundup at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
The show, presented by the Mason-Dixon Historical Society Inc., will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am. to dusk.
Visitors can get a good look at all types of antique farm machinery that are still in operating condition.
Demonstrations of shingle sawing, thrashing and baling will take place all three days, and such activities as a mule pull will be held Friday.
Antique cars and trucks will also be on display.
An antique and flea market will be set up on the grounds for shoppers, and numerous home-cooked foods will be available for purchase.
Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 17th Annual Smallwood Festival will be in full swing at the Reese Carnival Grounds in Finksburg.
The festival, sponsored by the Deer Park Lions Club, serves as the organization's main fund-raiser. Festival proceeds help pay for community and service projects supported by the club.
This year, about 300 vendors will set up shop to sell a variety of items, including crafts, antiques, collectibles and flea market goodies.
Lots of food and live entertainment will highlight this popular annual event.
There is plenty of parking and admission is free.
Do you appreciate the arts? Then you don't want to miss the ninth annual Carroll County Crafts Guild Studio Tour Saturday and Sunday.
Tourists will be invited to visit 10 homes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days to get a glimpse of artwork created by local artisans.
Some 18 artists will display such crafts as pottery, stained glass, weaving, sculpture, batik and handmade paper.
A stop at any of the 10 locations will guarantee visitors a chance to see an artist or two at work.
The tour is free.
Visitors are encouraged to start the tour at the Carroll County Arts Council Gallery in the Winchester Exchange in Westminster, the Uniontown Academy or Uniquely Crafted on Main Street in Westminster.
Additional works will be on display at these locations.
Tour maps and light refreshments will be available.