Dignitaries from City Hall, the PA General Assembly, Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments, and the School District of Philadelphia caused a stir at AMY Northwest's debut day in Roxborough Friday. However, noted, the most important attendees at the district's bell-ringing ceremony were the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students ready to explore their new home at the .
"I'm excited. This new school is so big," Azure Stokes said.
"I came from the old AMY Northwest school, and there's a lot more space. But now there's steps, too," Troie Young said.
The students began the 2012-13 school year at the magnet middle school's new Roxborough campus with a star-studded ceremony that marked the new year for the entire district.
Student Benjamin Frazier made his commute from Mt. Airy to Roxborough with a special guest—the new superintendent. Hite started the day by waking up Frazier and riding SEPTA over the Wissahickon Creek. The trip, , symbolized the "great infusion of energy" many hope Hite can bring to Philadelphia.
Addressing the AMY students, Hite spoke on the new partnership.
"Teachers, parents. If we ever for a second doubt, all we have to do is look out here (at these students). This is why we do it. To educate these 200,000 young people across the district," he said. "The first day of school year gives us the thought that you can accomplish anything."
With district and staff support, Zanoni brings Roxborough its first middle school on the 2.3-acre campus originally founded for education by William Levering in 1748. AMY Northwest intends on bringing its Pennsylvania top-ranked "First in Math" and six straight years achieving Adequate Yearly Progress pedigree to Roxborough.
"We will continue the vision of William Levering and his family to stand for a better way of life and public education," Zanoni.
The Friday ceremony featured the unveiling of the AMY Northwest signage and the symbolic bell-ringing to start the new year.
Daniel Faulkner, the student speaker from AMY Northwest, talked about the day's importance.
"This morning, we venture into our new life with solid roots, which we will now plant into our new school," he said,
State Rep. Pamela DeLissio (D-194) welcomed the students and staff to Ridge Avenue.
"You will all find out soon that Roxborough is a great place to live, work, and you'll see, to learn," she said. DeLissio her experience on Patch.
For more information on AMY Northwest, visit its website.