Excitement Abounds as Schools Open
Moore County students loaded up their new book bags and lunch boxes and headed back to class Tuesday to start the new school year.
Almost 12,000 students returned to class at the county's 22 public schools. Year-round schools began July 20 for almost 700 students.
As always, the new school year is an exciting time for everyone involved, and the county's principals enjoy getting things fired back up.
Southern Pines Elementary Princ-ipal Marci Cooper said the first day was going well Tuesday morning. Southern Pines Elementary is one of the schools that offer a year-round program, so the first day of the traditional calender brings the entire student body together for the first time.
"Things are great," she said. "It's really nice to have all of our students under one roof. Our day has run very smoothly, thanks to the help of our teachers and parents."
The first day went just as smoothly at Southern Middle in Aberdeen. Principal Mike Metcalf said the first day of school is his favorite day of the year, and even though some of the students may not admit it, they're ready to be back.
"We're having a great first day," he said. "There's just an energy and an excitement that I just love."
The system's newest principal is LoriSue Pelk at New Century Middle. Pelk comes to Moore County from Racine, Wis., where she worked at an inner-city school. She said New Century has gotten off to an "amazing" start -- one much smoother than she is used to. Like Metcalf, she thrives on the energy the new school year provides.
"It's exciting," she said. "I couldn't sleep last night. I was like a kindergartner before the first day of school again."
Principal Scott Absher at North Moore High said the buzz started Monday at the school's back-to-school night, which had a great turnout. The students "cranked it up" when they arrived this morning. He said every day working as a high school principal is exciting.
"We've had a great morning, a great start," Absher said. "It's wide-open. It's a lot of fun."
The school system has been scrambling to nail down state budget figures to determine the overall impact on funding. Superintendent Susan Purser and her staff have made a concerted effort to put forth as many resources into the classroom as possible. Just last week, the system announced it would allocate an additional 34 teachers, and is committed to protecting the classroom from future cuts this year.
Purser was out visiting schools in the eastern part of the county Tuesday morning, which was a welcome distraction from the tedious budget discussions she has been engaged in all year.
"It's absolutely marvelous to see our students and teachers," she said. "This is what it's all about.
"Every place I've been to, it looks like school has been in session for months. Everyone is on track. It's great to see."
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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