Last day of school bittersweet for Bunche Elementary, slated for closure

Bunche Elementary Principal Diana Wright patrols the hallways not to catch wayward students, but to make sure her teachers are coming along with their packing.

Schoolâ??s out for the summer. For Bunche, that means doors are closing for good.

"It hit me on the way out today that, it was like this is the last time that I'm going to give these babies their hugs,â?? third-grade teacher Melissa Wade said.

Bunche is one of four Flint schools board members voted last month to close as part of their move to avoid a $19 million deficit.

Students will be reassigned for the fall, and the anticipation of change helped cut through the bittersweet emotions.

Teacher Olga May-Henley said her students were eager to know where she will be reassigned. "Miss May, what school are you going to? What school are you going to? Can we transfer to that school? I said, well, you want to try your new school first and see."

On this last day teachers stayed overtime, stowing away their supplies and memories.

Principal Wright has seen a few school closings during her 28-year-career.

"It was easy to accept because I realized they only did it because it was necessary at the time," Wright said. After just two years at Bunche, she's sad to leave her students and colleagues, but remains optimistic.

"I believe in Flint Community Schools, I'm just looking forward to a better future,â?? Wright said.

That's how Mrs. Wade got through the day, encouraging her kids to embrace the change at their new schools.

"Look forward to your new adventure, and we will be watching for you making all kinds of positive news,â?? Wade said, even if they won't be down the hallway next year.