WEST ORANGE, NJ - It was back to school for West Orange Public School students last week, and despite the sweltering temperatures, there was excitement and smiles.

Superintendent of Schools Jeff Rutzky spent the first day visiting the district's 12 schools. He began his morning at Gregory Elementary School, where he welcomed students, staff, and parents along with new Principal Makeida Estupiñan and new Assistant Principal Dwayne McNeil.

Returning Kelly students received a special message from West Orange's hometown astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelly, welcoming them bask to school.

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“We hope you had a wonderful summer, and if you are new to Kelly Elementary School, it’s great to have you as part of the crew,” they said. “Education is a mission and you need to be focused but we also want you to have fun too. We started in the 2nd grade in that same building in 1972.

“The school you attend today got us on a path that led to the stars. We got a great education there and you will too.

“So pay attention to your teachers. They know what they are doing. If you need extra help, you should always ask. Best of luck for the 2018-2019 school year.”

Special new parent events followed morning drop-off and were held at several elementary schools.

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