As music played from a miniature speaker, Jeff Davidson used a rag and all-purpose cleaner to remove marks from a white board at Clinton High School. He also shined the desks too.
Davidson, a civics educator, is one of many teachers who returned to their classrooms Monday.
“I’m excited about a new school year and seeing a new batch of kids,” Davidson said.
With the first day of class for Sampson County Schools and Clinton City Schools set for Monday, Aug. 24, excitement of children returning was a common theme.
“It’s always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time,” he said. “Just like students are probably anxious, most of the teachers are probably a little anxious to see what the new year is going to bring. But once we get one or two days into it, it’ll be like riding a bike. It’ll feel like we never left.”
Meanwhile, English teacher Hannah Williams is teaching a new class at CHS, which comes with trying new things in the classrooms. During her return, she assisted her colleague Alicia Copeland with setting up technology for an overhead projector.
“We’re really excited about the new school year,” Williams said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
At Roseboro Elementary School (RES), Principal Tonya Colwell walked around the halls as teachers prepped for the upcoming school year.
“Things are going well,” she said. “As a staff, everyone is very excited to improve student and professional growth this year.”
The school is looking forward to continuing parental involvement with events such as its Million Father March, where the fathers bring children to school on the first day, as well as the fall festival and movie night, scheduled for late August.
Keeler Brown, an exceptional children’s teacher at RES, prepared lesson plans and looked at her student roster to evaluate the needs of the incoming students.
“I’m looking forward to a prosperous and productive school year,” Brown said. “You always hope that the parents continue to work with their children throughout the summer. Sometimes children lose knowledge over the summer. So I think that’s the biggest challenge if anything, to see if they worked with them and how much growth they have shown.”
Like Brown, Carrie White, a science and social studies teacher, is excited about getting a new group of students.
“Every year is exciting,” White said. “You get new kids and you think about new ways to teach them. You’re teaching the same curriculum, but the kids are different and how they respond may be different. Even though you’re doing the same thing over and over, it’s going to be with a new group. It brings its own excitement and challenges with it.”
Heather Godwin, a second-grade teacher, will be a new face at Roseboro Elementary. She previously educated students at Hobbton Elementary, but is ready to begin a new journey at RES.
“All summer you’re working and preparing,” Godwin said after taking a break from arranging her classroom.
Colwell said RES educators such Godwin, White and Brown will probably face challenges such as the upcoming budget, but she believes everyone will pull together. The theme for the upcoming school year is K.N.O.T. which stands for “Keep Nudging On Together.” Colwell also tied their theme with the school-wide motto of “Tomorrow’s Success Begins Today.”
“We’re going to do everything we can day by day to make sure our students are successful as possible and put them in a situation where they can continue to grow,” Colwell said.
(Chase Jordan / Sampson Independent)