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Celebrating the first day of school, Kattrina Morales and Robert Vogel took pictures of their son, Aayden Vogel in front of a “Welcome Back” sign  on the lawn outside Page Hilltop Elementary School, where he is a 4th-grader.
Celebrating the first day of school, Kattrina Morales and Robert Vogel took pictures of their son, Aayden Vogel in front of a “Welcome Back” sign  on the lawn outside Page Hilltop Elementary School, where he is a 4th-grader.
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AYER – The first day of school Wednesday was even more special than usual this year at Page Hilltop Elementary School, where students were greeted with colorful “Welcome Back” signs, bright, bobbing balloons and the smiling (masked) faces of their teachers and other school staff.

With pandemic protocols such as mask-wearing and distancing still in evidence, the kids exited school buses and parents’ cars and were ushered into the building, part of a well-orchestrated drop-off routine, in place since last year.

The first day welcoming committee also included Page Hilltop Principal Fred Deppe, Assistant Principal Matthew Lutinski, who climbed aboard the buses to help kids get off; ASRSD Finance Director William Plunkett and local public safety personnel.

Spotted on scene were Ayer Police officers and members of the Ayer Fire Dept., including Chief Timothy Johnston and a trio of uniformed firefighters – Firefighter/EMT’s Jeff Swenson and Mitch Taylor and Lt. Brendan Hurley – who lined up at the bus stop to greet students as they walked by.