Gloomy skies, happy faces on the first day

Eager students of Resurrection School, Cherry Hill, respond to Bishop Sullivan’s questions on Sept. 6, the first day of school, during a prayer service at Christ Our Light Church.
Photo by James A. McBride

CHERRY HILL — Gloomy skies and steady raindrops couldn’t dampen the energy and enthusiasm of teachers, students, parents and Bishop Dennis Sullivan here at Resurrection Catholic, as the elementary school opened its doors this week for the beginning of a new school year.

“I get excited when I see the kids,” said a ready-to-go Molly Webb, principal, who greeted parents as they left their children with backpacks, lunchboxes, hugs and kisses on the cheek.

“Good to have you back,” she smiled to a returning student walking up the school steps.

Webb called Bishop Sullivan’s visit an “honor,” as the engaging prelate welcomed students into the school before a 9 a.m. prayer service in the nearby parish church, where he called on students “to live together as a school family in a special relationship with God.”

At the end of the prayer service, the students expressed their gratitude to the bishop for his visit by giving him a plush doll of their mascot, the Resurrection Ram.

As elementary and secondary schools start up classes again this week, Bishop Sullivan was also slated to visit Saint Teresa School in Runnemede.

The tone that Webb and school leadership are setting for the new school year is seen on the wall as students enter the building: “The Look of Leadership — Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”

“We’re focusing on the mark Jesus left, and fostering kindness and respect,” Webb said, adding that sticky notes will be added to the wall when “students act as Jesus would.”


First day of school

Students hop off the bus and into the rain on their way to Resurrection School, Cherry Hill, on Sept. 6, the first day of school
A young girl gets a kiss on her way to class.
Photos by James A. McBride
Jessica Scott, fifth grade, gets her photo taken before the school day starts.
Resurrection Catholic has 392 students this year in Prek4-8 grade, an increase of over 40 students from last year.

Emily and Mike Woods dropped off their daughter, Kayla, for her first day in first grade.

“We love it here,” said Emily, noting that this is her family’s second year at the school, after Kayla’s time in kindergarten last year. Her husband, Mike, held their 3-year-old son Conor, who was to begin PreK3 at the school on Friday.

“We’re confident that they’re getting the best education out there,” she said.

As an extension of Christ Our Light Parish, Resurrection follows its church’s “vibrancy, and positive energy,” said Bill Watson, director of curriculum and assessment for the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, who was also present for Bishop Sullivan’s visit.

“It’s an excellent school because it’s Catholic,” he said. “Bishop Sullivan is such a strong supporter of Catholic schools. We’re following his example as lead educator.”