1st Day of School Documented by Photographer Rich Schmitt

This young girl couldn’t wait to get to school on the first day.
Photo: Rich Schmitt/CTN

Photographer Rich Schmitt captured great photos of the first day of school at Palisades Charter Elementary School, a tradition carried by local newspapers since the school was built in 1922.

Although this editor and Schmitt were both “let go” by the “town” paper, we both continue to love Pacific Palisades and its traditions.

Schmitt has been documenting happenings in Pacific Palisades for decades. When I was a reporter for the Palisadian-Post, he and I were often assigned to elections, Chamber of Commerce, sporting events, and of course, the first day of school.

Former Post Editor Bill Bruns said “I hired Rich after 9/11, so he has been photographing the community for 22 years.” Often Bruns would send Schmitt to all three public elementary schools (Marquez, Pali and Canyon) on opening day.

This year Schmitt continued the long-standing tradition of school coverage, capturing parents, students and the principal as they returned to classes at Pali on August 14.

Many students brought supplies for their teacher, such as Kleenex and wipes, on the first day.
Photo: Rich Schmitt/CTN

Parents always anxiously awaited to see if their student was featured in the paper. Unfortunately, with a print newspaper only one or two photos generally ran. With a digital paper, such as Circling the News, many more first-day pictures are now available.

CTN also sends you to Schmitt’s link (click here) to see other photos. Having a professional photographer record your child’s first day of school is a special treat.

Principal Juliet Herman, in welcoming students and parents back to this LAUSD charter school, quoted Simon Sinek: “Life is difficult and dangerous. Anyone who would attempt to do it alone is simply mad. We know to always do difficult things with a buddy. . . we should trust others to join us on the journey. As individuals, we’re useless. We can’t lift heavy weight and we can’t solve complex problems. But together? Together we are remarkable.”

Some students appeared apprehensive on the first day.
Photo: Rich Schmitt/CTN

The school, on Via de la Paz, has grades K-5  and its mission is states it is “dedicated to academic excellence, an appreciation of the arts, and the promotion of positive social awareness.”

With a mix of veteran and new teachers, this school continues the long tradition of partnership with parents that started in 1993, when it was awarded its first charter status.

Many parents walked their children into Palisades Elementary the first day.
Photo: Rich Schmitt/CTN

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