Preparations underway county-wide for school year

Published 5:59 am Wednesday, July 30, 2014

upcoming Charles Henderson High senior Sierra Murphy looks at photos from her senior portrait photo shoot. (Messenger Photo / April Garon)

upcoming Charles Henderson High senior Sierra Murphy looks at photos from her senior portrait photo shoot. (Messenger Photo / April Garon)

Pharell William’s viral hit song, “Happy”, will greet students on their first day back at school as they walk into Vicki Robinson’s second-grade classroom at Troy Elementary.

“School is a happy place,” Robinson said. “It’s hard and new and can be discouraging, but it’s a happy place.”

While parents are busy getting their kids ready for the upcoming school year, teachers and administers are fast at work preparing for the day students return.

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David Fleming will be teaching 7th grade math at Pike County High School this year. He is a recent college grad and he is new to teaching full-time.

“I am very excited for the school year,” Fleming said. “The administration has been very helpful, I am very impressed. I did workshops in Montgomery and talked to teachers in the city and county to learn different tips and tricks to get the year off to a good start.”

Fleming said he plans to use real life applications of 7th grade level math in lessons and others things to keep his students interested.

Going back to school is a big transition from summer freedom, and teachers use strategies to help students adjust, resource teacher at Troy Elementary Heather Templin said.

“In the first couple days and weeks, I lay out the schedule and what’s expected from the beginning, but allowing for a transition time for them to adjust physically and mentally,” Templin said.

Some students are ready to get back into the swing of school, according to Pike Liberal Arts School Headmaster Becky Baggett.

“It’s always a challenge. Kids love their summertime, but some are ready to get back to their friends and get to learning,” Baggett said.

All grade levels have their highs and lows, and first and 12th grade are big years for students. Troy Elementary first-grade teacher Heather Bunn said first grade isn’t what it used to be and students are expected to learn many things before starting second grade.

“Something to remember is they’re babies when they come to us, and when they leave they are second-graders,” Bunn said. “I tell them, ‘hold on, we’ve got a lot to learn.’ Parents might forget how much they had to learn. It will be an eye opener for some of the parents. I’ll focus on getting them ready and ease into what it takes to have successful first graders.

Bunn will make the kids at ease on their first day by reading the book “First Day Jitters” and making Jitter Juice, a combination of sherbet and soda, for the students to drink on their first day.

While first-graders are beginning their school journey, seniors are deciding their futures and planning for life after graduation.

Luckily, Sierra Murphy, a senior at Charles Henderson High School, already knows what she wants to do. She plans to major in children’s psychology at Jacksonville State.

“I’m excited and a little nervous, but ready for college,” Murphy said. “It’s my last year in high school band and that’s sad— I don’t want it to end. But the thing I am most excited about after graduating is being an adult.”


Troy City School’s first day is August 14. Troy Elementary’s Parent Orientation is August 11 and school supply drop off and meet the teacher day is August 13. Charles Henderson Middle School’s orientation is August 5 and open house is August 26.

Pike County School District will begin the school year on August 11. Goshen Elementary’s open house for K4-2nd grade is August 5 and all other Pike County schools’ open houses will be held on August 7.

Pike Liberal Arts School’s first day is August 8. K-4 and K-5 orientation is August 4 and for grades 1 through 12 is August 5.

Covenant Christian School’s first day is August 11. Parent workday is August 2 and parent orientation is August 7th.

New Life Christian Academy’s first day is August 11, which will be a half day.