Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Schools open, so do books

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As more than 42,000 Cincinnati Public School students returned to school Tuesday, there were only minor problems. A few phones were out. A few buses were late. A few tears were shed as students struggled to find their classrooms.

        But studying started right away.

        Students were so hard at work in Nancy Holtkamp's room at Carthage Paideia that they only gave a half-hearted hello when Superintendent Steven Adamowski stopped by.

        “They're so busy. I'm sorry,” Mrs. Holtkamp said. “But at least they're learning.”

        The schools' chief started the school year by visiting Carthage Paideia, a magnet school named one of the district's highest achievers.

        “Carthage represents the kind of school district we are becoming,” Mr. Adamowski said. “This is not only an image, but a reality of what we are achieving.”

        At capacity with 372 students, there is a waiting list for every grade at Carthage.

        Mr. Adamowski also toured Windsor and Western Hills High.

        In many ways, it was a typical first day of school. Students were excited. The air was hot in the buildings, few of which have air conditioning. Cheese sticks and sorbet were on the lunch menu.

        When seventh-graders in Rebecca Tully's science class at Windsor had their chance to talk to Mr. Adamowski, they asked what kind of car he drives. He suggested a better question might be, “What's the highest degree you have?”

        A Ph.D, he said, explaining that education means you can accomplish your goals.

        “Earn the right degrees and you can buy any car you want,” he told students.

        Mr. Adamowski drives a gold-colored Jeep Cherokee.


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