First-day jitters|Schools welcome students

Published 11:24 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

A few kindergarten students brought the tears Tuesday morning at W.S. Neal Elementary School, but they had no idea their teachers and administrators provided the blood and sweat the day before.
School personnel — along with a number of outside helpers — had to clean up a school that Principal John Knott joked looked like “Bosnia — at the height of the war.”
But clean floors and organized classrooms — and perhaps some weary teachers — were what greeted students on the first day of school.
Workers installed a new heating and air conditioning system at W.S. Neal over the summer, and the work continued until late last week. That left little time for teachers and administrators to get furniture back into classrooms and decorate colorful bulletin boards to welcome students.
Knott said the repairs were much needed, and he was impressed with the teamwork that got the school back together in record time. Most teachers didn’t have a chance to set up their classrooms until Monday.
Parents, community members and football players and coaches from W.S. Neal High School were among those who pitched in to help move furniture back into classrooms over the weekend, Knott said.
Tuesday was the first day of school for Escambia County Schools, a day after Brewton City Schools started classes for the 2009-2010 year.
Students at T.R. Miller High School and Brewton Middle School seemed to be excited about heading back to the classroom.
Dillon Stone, a freshman at TRM High, said school was going to be very different now that he has moved up the high school.
Caitlin Barnes, who is in the eighth grade at Brewton Middle School, said she is excited about her last year in middle school.

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