School leaders prep for new year start
Published 8:00 pm Sunday, August 5, 2012
From campus improvements to setting students’ sights on attaining higher academic goals, the principals at the Lincoln County School District’s four campuses are eager for the start of a new school year Monday.
Loyd Star Attendance Center
Principal Robin Case said they are abuzz with activity in the new school year, including following academic requirements.
“As we’re headed into this new school year, we are committed to fully implementing the new core curriculum, while at the same time continuing to work with (Mississippi Curriculum Testing),” Case said.
All over campus Case said the summer was busy with improvements.
“We are very excited about renovations that we have been able to complete on campus this summer and we are in the process of beginning several others,” she said. “The ag shop renovation has been completed and work is continuing in the choir suite. We have worked on several landscaping and beautification projects this summer.”
Loyd Star currently has more than 800 students enrolled, which Case said is close to last year’s total. She was also appreciative for the amount of support the school received.
“We’re fortunate to have great parental support and support from our community,” she said. “Whenever we need something, they always come through for us.”
Case also wanted to welcome a new member on board.
“We are very excited about our new elementary principal, Mr. Jeremy Peagle, who came here from Texas this summer,” she said.
Case said the new school year is full of events and challenges.
“As always the upcoming school year is packed with academic challenges, extracurricular activities and some social events,” she said. “We are very eager and excited about starting this new year.”
Bogue Chitto Attendance Center
Principal Mickey Myers said he thinks people at Bogue Chitto are excited for this school year.
“I think enthusiasm is high here at Bogue Chitto,” said Myers, who is starting his first year as the school’s top official. “We’re optimistic about the opportunities that await us during this upcoming school year. We have a great staff of professional educators on board. We have some new people that I think will be an asset to our school and community.”
Myers said there are about 60 new students that have enrolled since the summer. School enrollment is currently at 640, which is up from last year’s low 590s total.
“I hope that means that people realize we have a good product here at Bogue Chitto and are well balanced with academics and athletics,” said Myers. “You always want to grow, no matter if it’s a church or a school district.”
Myers also said he believes they have a very strong group of educators in place for this year and hopes to build on last year’s academic success.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been stronger here as far as the quality of educators we have here teaching the core subjects,” he said. “We showed gains in our test scores last year, which is also a good thing.”
In addition to a promising year academically, the athletics at Bogue Chitto are brimming with activity as well.
“It’s going to be an exciting year athletically,” said Myers. “We have a new gym under construction, but that will also make this the farewell year for Calhoun Gymnasium, and we’ll be celebrating its 50-year anniversary during the year. The new gym will be a very nice facility.”
Myers went on to tout the school’s array of extracurricular activities.
“We’ll have archery as a sport for the first time here this year,” he said. “We hope to add cross country in the fall of 2013. Our power lifting team just received their state championship rings recently and will be recognized in our opening assembly Monday.”
Enterprise Attendance Center
Principal Shannon Eubanks said every year presents different challenges, but that doesn’t deter their enthusiasm.
“Every year is a new year for us,” he said. “We’re just excited that we have such a great community, student body and teaching staff. Summer goes by very quickly and we’re ready to get started. It’s a chance for old friends and co-workers to get back together. We call Enterprise a family and it’s like a family reunion all year.”
Eubanks said they’re looking forward to getting their test results in and continuing to march forward.
“We’re cautiously optimistic about our results from state testing that we’ll do very well,” he said. “We worked very hard the past few years to improve. Our secondary and junior high have improved every year.
Enterprise will have some new people and things on campus when school starts.
“We have some new coaches on staff and we have a new day about to dawn with the new gymnasium,” he said. “We’ve already started on that.
Eubanks said he is excited about new people coming in to the school.
“We have over 70 students registered for kindergarten, which is our biggest class in years. We’ve had to turn people away for kindergarten because we don’t have room,” he said. “That’s testament to our school, student body and community when you have to do that.”
While Eubanks said enrollment will fluctuate the first week, but they are anticipating their final enrolment number to be 850.
“There are still kids registering, there are many parents that are still working to register,” he said. “But I feel once things get settled down we’ll be around 850 students, which is a little more than last year.”
Eubanks said according to what he’s read, in six of the past seven years, Enterprise is the only school among Lincoln County schools to continue to increase in student numbers, based on the September totals.
“I think the growth is because people know we have a good school here,” he said. “When I came here I told people we were the best-kept secret in the county because we’re not close to any major hub. When people find out about us they want to come here because we consider ourselves a family.”
This year’s staff stands out greater than any Eubanks has worked with before, he said.
“I think our staff is our best staff we’ve had in my nine years here,” he said. “We have veteran teachers that are leading our new teachers. Our teachers are knowledgeable, qualified and enthusiastic, but they also care about the children. That’s what’s most important.”
Enterprise has worked to increased technology and add more classes in recent years, but Eubanks said they still try to keep it as the single community school.
“That’s what people know about us: that we’re going to take care of their kids, educate them and give them the best all around experience we can offer,” he said.
West Lincoln Attendance Center
Principal Jason Case said at West Lincoln administrators and teachers working on having another great year.
“We’re just trying to have a successful year and move students forward,” he said. “We’re excited about the opportunities we have to teach the kids in the West Lincoln community and we look forward to seeing the results.”
Case pointed to state testing as a key measure of success.
“We’re all held accountable for state testing and we take it seriously and try to focus on student progress,” he said. “Those tests are every spring. That’s one thing we focus on mostly.”
Like other schools, West Lincoln will start off the school year with football and softball games and Case said he always looks forward to those.
“We have many extracurricular activities we’re interested in,” he said. “We always look forward to seeing the football and softball teams to kick off the new school year.”
Case said West Lincoln currently has 750 students enrolled, which is up by about 50 students from last year.
“Every year we have a large kindergarten and it’s been like that for the past five or six years,” said Case.