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Celebrating a new adventure at Lakewood Elementary

Taylor May woke up to both excitement and nerves on Tuesday as she got ready for the first day of school at the new Lakewood

Elementary School in Port Dover.    

“I’m going into Grade 2,” she said holding up two fingers with a big smile. 

Her mother Shelley, holding her hand, walked with her as they entered the gym of the new school.  Her little brother Maddox, although too young for school, came along for the experience.

“It’s an exciting day for her,” said Shelley.  “The school’s much bigger than she’s used to,” referring to the fact that Taylor used to attend Doverwood Elementary School and that Lakewood was once a high school.

Taylor is one of 400 students attending the newly organized school.  The majority of students came from Doverwood and united with the grade 7 students who are now in Grade 8 from Port Dover Composite School.  As of the second semester of last year, the high school students attend Simcoe Composite School or Waterford District High School. 

The St. George Street school is now home to Lakewood students from grades Kindergarten to eight. 

“It’s a new beginning; the adventure begins here,” said Jody Simmons, an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) supporting the Full-Day Kindergarten program at the school.  Jody was welcoming parents and students during the morning.

Out in the yard, students reunited with their friends, showed off their new outfits, gave hugs to the teachers and said goodbye to their parents. 

Lucas was so excited to be with his friends that he didn’t realize that his mother was also at school.  She met her son as he got off the bus after his first riding experience.  In Doverwood, he walked. 

“He was totally pumped,” she said as Lucas walked towards the school sporting a mohawk hairstyle. 

Patience was also walking with her son Miles, who is starting Grade 1, and daughter Izzy, Grade 5. She was nostalgic as she approached the building. 

“I went to this school so it’s exciting that my kids are here now too,” she said.   

Director of Education, John Forbeck, was also at the school to greet staff and families.

“The transition of Doverwood to Lakewood is important,” he said.  “It’s an important day for staff and students.” 

As the students settled in the gym to be organized into their classes, Principal Kim Cottingham greeted everyone and said “We’re celebrating a new adventure.” 

He told the students that the school is much bigger than what they were used to but that they would soon find their way around with the help of staff members. 

“This is a great place to make new memories,” he said.  And for all the students at the school, the memories have just begun.   


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