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PREVIEW: After a year of teaching through a pandemic, one Stateline teacher says fear has given way to excitement to be back

a heartfelt return web pic 2

FREEPORT (WREX) — After COVID-19 sent all school remote for the spring of 2019, teachers across the country and here in the Stateline spent the summer hoping for a return to normal.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 was still very much a part of everyone's lives when the 2020 school year kicked off, but for many students and teachers, it did mark a return to the classroom.

As Blackhawk Elementary first and second grade bilingual teacher Dottie Delgadillo remembers it, the new guidelines and setting brought with it a lot of uncertainty.

"There was so many unknowns," Delgadillo said. "The what-ifs were always playing in the back of your mind."

But after a year of learning how to teach while staying socially distanced, Delgadillo says she's going into this year with a new, excited attitude.

"We've been through it for a year," Delgadillo said. "We know the procedures, we know how to do things, and I think that gives us some peace on how we're moving forward this year. I think it makes it a lot more exciting to go back because we're not so concerned about the unknown."

That excitement showed with smiles all around Blackhawk Elementary in Freeport on the first day of school that not even masks could hide. Tune into 13 News at 6 and 10 p.m. on Thursday to see Delgadillo reconnect with one of her favorite students after a summer away.

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William Ingalls

William Ingalls is the weekend reporter at WREX. He joined the team in 2019 as a photographer after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English from Augustana College. William was born and raised in Rockford and went to high school at Christian Life.

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