Some 4,500 students are back to the books in Galesburg on Friday.
That’s after teachers narrowly approved a new four-year contract. It ends a 15-day strike that slowed the start of the school year.
“It was hard because you didn’t know when we were going to go back,” said senior Tiara Creek, 17. “When we finally found out we were going back, I was like, yes!”
While teachers expressed frustration and disappointment with their deal, most students are happy to return.
“I was just ready to go back,” said senior Erin McDorman, 17. “It’s my senior year. I want to get it done, and I’m happy to be back with all the teachers.”
Cars were lined up at Galesburg High School just after 7 Friday morning. Some students were toting band instruments. Others were wearing football jerseys. Everybody got a special greeting at the door from teachers and administrators.
Since classes started on Friday, the Silver Streaks will be able to play football against the Moline Maroons.
“I’m just so glad that we get to play tonight,” said freshman Jacob Carl, 14. “It’s just awesome.”
Superintendent Bart Arthur thinks it will take time for District 205 to heal. Students are ready to do their part to help out.
“I feel like we’re a strong community,” said junior Myiah Davis, 16. “We can just pull it all back together.”
It’s a fresh start after a tough strike.
“I’m really happy to be back,” concluded senior Cameron Schierer, 17.