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Photo caption: Teddy the Racing President from the Washington Nationals at Amidon-Bowen’s new playground.

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Photo caption: Teddy greeting the students.

Opening day at Amidon-Bowen is always exciting and this year was no exception. The positive energy shown by all involved, especially the students, was truly encouraging.

With all of the planning that goes into making Opening Day a success, this year was truly special.

A collaborative effort by Principal Miller, the Amidon PTA, Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative, ANC 6D Commissioner Rhonda Hamilton, Christ United Methodist Church, the SW Kiwanis, Near Southeast Community Partners, SWNA, the Fun Bunch, Greenleaf Midrise Residents Council, the Washington Nationals, and a host of volunteers made it all possible. Food items were donated by Potbelly on 3rd St. SW and Harris Teeter in Yards Park. Breakfast was served by the community volunteers.

The list of distinguished guests to help usher in the 2015 school year was lengthy.

As the students began to arrive in the playground, they were greeted by a contingent of eight soldiers from the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) Headquarters Command Battalion, led by Commander Lt. Col. Johnathon Kupka and Command Sergeant Major Kenyatta Mack. JBM-HH’s annual support of the first day of school is coordinated by JBM-HH Community Relations Officer Leah Rubalcaba and School Liaison Officer Ann Daffin. School supplies and library books were also collected and presented to school Principal Izabela Miller.

Emerging from the side door entering the playground was Teddy, the Racing President from the Washington Nationals, who clearly had drawn a lot of attention as nearly every student ran over to greet him. Teddy entertained the group with his usual antics, although I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the adults or the students.

McGruff the Crime Dog was on hand visiting with everyone along with First District Commander Jeff Brown.

Opening Day would not be complete without a visit from our Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and Community Liaison Naomi Mitchell. Councilmember Allen visited with students, teachers, parents, and Teddy.

As everyone filed into the cafeteria, Principal Miller energized the crowd by shouting “Amidon” followed by a chorus of “Bowen” from students and faculty. Principal Miller introduced all of the teachers and staff and thanked the partners and volunteers. The thunderous applause echoed off every wall.

Summer was busy at the school. Some additional renovations were done, including a new padded floor in the cafeteria and a new roof is currently being installed. With the roof installation ongoing, the Amidon PTA held a mini “beautification day” on Sunday, August 23 to clean the playground and do some landscaping.

Never too far from our minds was former ANC 6D Commissioner Ron McBee, who was a true champion for the school and a fixture at Opening Day.

Opening Day involves teamwork and coordination to make it a success and we thank the community for coming together.

We all look forward to a great school year.

By: Bruce DarConte

President, Near Southeast Community Partners

Amidon PTA/LSAT

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