ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Those back-to-school jitters are a very real thing for students, teachers, and one principal in particular.

“There is a great book called ‘First Day Jitters,’ which talks about a teacher’s jitters on the first day,” Dr. Melissa Schewe, principal at Hanna Woods Elementary, said. “No matter how many years you do this, as soon as the kids walk through the front door, the energy is contagious. It’s just great to see the kids smile as they walk in the front door.”

As Schewe begins her first year as principal of Hanna Woods Elementary, one Parkway family has been showing up at this building and walking through the front door for almost four decades.

“These are our three youngest children,” said Peggy McDonnell, mother of 14. “This is Devon, who started kindergarten at Hanna Woods.”

For the McDonnell family, the school of character has been a steady course for generations of their 14 kids, both biological and adopted.

“It’s the 37th consecutive year that my husband and I have sent a child to that school,” McDonnell said. “Our oldest is 42 years old, Sean, and our youngest just started kindergarten.”

McDonnell says she and her husband have retired from being foster parents but are still very active in their children’s education at this K-5th grade school.

“You know…as a graduate myself, I always knew about the McDonnell family when I was a student and then it’s really fun to see their other students here as well,” Schewe said.