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By KELLY RICHARDSON
ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s difficult for Bill Twyman to walk down the hallways of Elizabethtown Independent Schools without running into someone he knows.
There are a lot of jokes about the number of years the hallway passers-by have spent in the school. There are mocking suggestions that perhaps those school veterans should contemplate the career move that Twyman made in 2002 — retirement.
“One of the things about coming back like this is I get to see my old friends who are still here,” he said.
It’s in his retirement that Twyman experienced another first day of school Thursday, as interim superintendent while the EIS board searches for a permanent leader.
It’s not just old friends Twyman finds in the EIS buildings; there are family members, too. Twyman has a grandchild in each of the four schools and his daughter teaches music at Morningside Elementary School. While he was navigating the halls of the Morningside and T.K. Stone Middle School campus, commenting on the quiet students in straight lines and sticking his head into classroom doorways to say hello, he made a point of seeking out those students and staff members who were related to him.
Twyman served as an interim superintendent for EIS at the end of the 2005-2006 school year as well, but at the end of the year that time. Closing the school year is different than opening one, he said. Everyone is tired and ready for the summer break.
“I prefer the beginning of the year,” he said. “I think it’s more exciting.”
There’s always enough change over the summer to make each year seem a little different than the last and students are more excited about the prospect of school, he said.
Twyman pointed out that exciting isn’t always a good thing. Exciting can mean someone’s on a wrong bus or somehow not heading toward their intended destination, which is why the schools take extra time to get the children moving in the right direction on the first day.
There really can’t be enough planning for the first day of school, he said.
“The best thing that could happen is I have a boring day,” he said, laughing.
The school year differs now in instruction and the difficulty of the material, he said, but the first day of school still has the same feel to him.
“It’s such an ingrained part of our lives anymore,” he said.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.