Some area schools welcome back students for new school yearPublished 5:50pm Monday, August 12, 2013
For some area children, Monday marked the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Morgan Academy and Meadowview Christian School were two schools that opened their doors to welcome students to the first day of school.
And as they filed in with new school supplies and the anticipation of what the new school year holds, area teachers said they expect this year to be great — full of opportunities.
“The school is always better when the students are here,” said Martha McKnight, headmaster at Morgan Academy. “We have a large enrollment this year, and we expect it to be a great year.”
With close to 500 students enrolled, McKnight said Morgan Academy has a lot to look forward to in the coming school year.
“It’s a great opportunity to have the students excel academically, in sports and in the arts,” McKnight said of the upcoming year. “We do a lot to make it exciting for them.”
While students waited in the carpool line for their parents, first grade teacher Debbie Moore said the first day of school at Morgan couldn’t have gone any better.
“It’s always exciting for the kids when they come in with new school supplies and get to see old friends,” Moore said. “We’re off to a good start and the teachers are all excited — I think it’s going to be a great year at Morgan Academy.”
And just a few miles down the road; administrators at Meadowview Christian Academy shared similar thoughts, saying the first day went smoothly.
“The day has gone unbelievably well,” said Renee Callen, headmaster at Meadowview. “One teacher told me that it’s never been so quiet here — you can tell there’s a lot of learning going on.”
As the new headmaster, Callen said she looks forward to improving Meadowview academically and having a successful 2013-2014 school year.
So far, Callen said she’s had nothing but good reviews from the teachers.
“The biggest goal is to strengthen our academics, and I believe we already did that with our hiring,” she said. “We just want to get the children on board and want them to want to learn. We want them to set goals, build their self-esteem — all those things.”
Janie Mothershed, who teaches upper-level mathematics at Meadowview, said all her students are ready to learn and have a great school year.
“They’re ready to learn and they have great attitudes,” Mothershed said. “They all seem genuinely interested, I’ve been very impressed.”
And although Morgan and Meadowview welcomed students back to school Monday, both Dallas County Schools and Selma City Schools have one more week until students flood their hallways.
Don Willingham, interim superintendent for Dallas County Schools, said teachers met Monday to begin preparing for the new school year.
“We’re trying to get all the facilities in order and make sure everything is in order for the students when they get here,” Willingham said. “We’re excited, and by the time the students come, I think we’ll have everything in order.”
Willingham said his top priorities for the year are to increase test scores, conserve finances and to make school safety paramount.
Gerald Shirley, superintendent for Selma City Schools, said the city school employees have also begun preparing for students.
“We’re putting a big emphasis on college and career development,” Shirley said, noting that the city school system hired 25 new teachers. “I’m optimistic we’re going to have a productive year.”
Also, Shirley said the school system plans to work with the state department to better the system, which he said had a few “low points” in the 2012-2013 school year.
“Some things that happened last year, we’re hoping won’t happen this year,” Shirley said. “We had one school on the failing list, and we’re hoping to overcome that.”