Pike County and other area schools begin classes (PHOTO GALLERY)

Published 9:17 pm Monday, August 11, 2014

Teacher’s aid Carrie Mitchell reads the book “Lookout Kindergarten, Here I Come” at Goshen Elementary.

Teacher’s aid Carrie Mitchell reads the book “Lookout Kindergarten, Here I Come” at Goshen Elementary. (MESSENGER PHOTOS / APRIL GARON

Covenant Christian School

Banks Primary School

Goshen Elementary School

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For the Pike County School System all was quiet on opening day.

Kids were in the classroom and representatives from the System’s county office were in all schools to monitor the opening day activities.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, School superintendent, said unexpected enrollment in several classes is an indication that enrollment is up but it will be a few days before the numbers “shake out.”

“Right now, enrollment is tentative. It’s just wait and see,” Bazzell said. “But I’ve had several calls from principals about class sizes and we’re looking into that and will make the adjustments that need to be made.”

Lee Scott, Banks School principal, said the first day of the 2014-2015 school year went off without a hitch.

“A good thing about education is that you start over fresh each year,” Scott said. “And, here at Banks, we are excited about the new school year.”

The new school year is Scott’s second as principal of Banks School and she said she has found her niche in administration.

“As I was walking around, I got welcome back hugs and waves from the kids,” she said. “I was approachable and that made me feel good to know the students are comfortable with me. I want them to realize they can talk to their principal without being in trouble.”

Scott said Tina Debruyne, from the State Department of Education, spent opening day at Banks school and assisted the teachers in various ways.

“Ms. DeBruyne was with us last year and we were delighted to have her back this year,”

Scott said. “It was a busy day at Banks School but it was a good day. It’s great to have our students back on campus and we were excited to welcome our new students.”

Scott said from all indications, enrollment will be “up a notch or two’ from last year.

“We are growing and we are very pleased with that,” she said. “We are looking forward to a great year and to the new opportunities for our students, including Spanish. It will be an exciting year for Banks and all Pike County Schools.

Excitement in the Pike County School System in contagious.

Just down the road in Brundidge, Pike County High School Principal Willie Wright said teachers returned rejuvenated and energized and the students were excited and are looking forward to a great school year.

“The students behavior was exceptional,” Wright said. “I was so proud of how they came back to school. On opening day, it was as if the students had been here for a month. If today is an indication, it’s going to be another great year.”

Shondra Whitaker, assistant principal, shared Wright’s enthusiasm.

“Our enrollment is up and that’s always good,” she said. “One thing that I’m especially proud of is that, when our six new faculty members came in today, it was just as if they had been year for years. They fit right into our faculty and immediately became a part of PCHS.”

Whitaker said the 2014-2015 school year will be filled with exciting educational opportunities for each student and extracurricular activities for every interest.