Starting the school day off on the right foot is important for students, especially the younger ones. Kindergarten aide Denise Swanson, at Holy Family Catholic School, starts the school day greeting each and every student by name.
“I think, from my standpoint, it’s important for me to greet them with a smile and a hello,” she said. “Hopefully, that will start off their day well.”
Both students and staff appreciate her good natured greeting.
Michael Schwartz, an 8th grader, said, “She’s always the nicest person. Any time I get out of my car and walk up to school, she’s always saying, ‘Good morning!’ to every kid. Even if you needed her for anything, she’d be there for you.”
Establishing positive relationships with students is something Holy Family staff members strive for.
Principal Cori Gendron said, “Even the older students here that have known her, she still greets them by name. That’s an important connection that they have, and it makes them feel like we’re all one big family here.”
“I hope they know that they can count on me if they need to talk,” Swanson said. “If they’re having a bad day and they just want to talk about it, or if they’re having a good day and they want to share what’s good, going on with them. So, I think it’s important to have a good connection with them.”
Eighth-grader Brooke Christianson has attended Holy Family since pre-school and says Swanson has been there, greeting students by name since day one.
“It’s really impressive,” Christianson said. “But, a lot of the kids have been going there since preschool, so she’s had them since preschool. If they’re new, they see her every day, so she gets to know them.”
Parents say she helps start the school day off right.
“My children are so excited when we pull up,” said Marissa Milos. “When we see her, they want us to roll down our window so they can wave ‘hello’ to Mrs. Swanson. She’s just wonderful. We’re very lucky to have her.”
This will be Swanson’s 21st year working at Holy Family.