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Students, faculty welcome students back to school

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Students, faculty welcome students back to school

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ALAINA MINSHEW/STAFF Faculty at Turner Woods Elementary School open doors at open house to welcome students back to school.


Open House at Jones County schools took place July 30-31, giving parents, students and teachers a chance to meet each other and get ready for the school year.

New assistant principal of Gray Station Middle School, Keisha Pitts, said open house is a way for students to refamiliarize themselves with the schools and for faculty to showcase their schools. She said it is a fresh start for students.

“Open House is an opportunity to come out tonight to see the school, visit with the teachers, tour the school and just get acclimated to middle school,” she said. “It’s especially important for our fifth graders that are entering sixth grade to get ready for middle school.”

The event was important for each school to get their students prepared and what to expect their first day, but also throughout the school year. Gray Station Middle School principal Wes Cavender said his teachers are ready.

“It’s a good opportunity to bring the community in,” he said. “We feel like if we can bring them into the school in the beginning,thenmaybe we can keep everyone interested in the education of our students.”

Some of the schools have changes for the new school year, but many of the staff at each school are excited about new teachers and new students coming in. As the new assistant principal of Gray Station Middle School, Pitts said she is up for the changes and some are a big deal for all the schools.

“The L4GA grant is our biggest change. It means more opportunities for new technology, for our literacy goals throughout the district,” Pitts said. “We are really going to be looking into addressing early literacy and how students are impacted.”

Jeffrey Tharpe is the new principal of Turner Woods Elementary School and he saidhe’sbeyondexcitedabout his position. He said the community has been great in supporting him.

“I want the students to know this is their favorite place to be,” Tharpe said. “They can achieve anything here. Whatever career they want or whatever goal they want to meet, they can do it here. I want to see them succeed.”

Cavender said he hopes all students in Jones County had a wonderful summer, but thinks they are ready to come back to school and see their friends again.

“We’ve had teachers come in during the summer to get their classrooms ready and to plan, so I think we’re ready to get the year started. The teachers have worked really hard in getting prepared for their students,” Cavender said.

Even though each school has different teachers, students and goals, they all share the same care for their students. Pitts said she is ready to see how the students of Jones County progress this year, no matter what school they attend.

“We are one team, one heartbeat,” she said. “We all love our students and care about them. We want to see them succeed.”