Superintendents from both Mount Airy City and Surry County Schools report the first day of school for students in the 2014-2015 school year Monday went smoothly.
“We are incredibly excited about the start of another school year,” said Mount Airy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little. “You could see the excitement on each and every face. My family was up early today.”
Little said city schools were “up and running like a well-oiled machine” and attributed that to hard work throughout the summer from administrators and teachers. He credited parents, who got their children to schools on time, for helping with the smooth start.
“I want this excitement to last for the rest of the 179 days,” Little said. “I want us to feel the same enthusiasm for learning as we have today.”
County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves was also pleased with the starting day for county schools. He said the start was a continuation of the spirit expressed in the convocation last week and represented the continuing effort to light educational pathways for students’ futures.
“We’ve had a great beginning to a new (school) year,” said Reeves. “Our teachers and administrators have worked hard to be organized and ready.” Reeves also said the system appreciates the Surry County Sheriff’s Office for the additional staffing provided to keep the opening day safe for students.
Mount Airy Middle School Principal Susan Bunch and Assistant Principal Penny Willard appeared optimistic for this year, following last year’s honors earned by MAMS, when it was ranked among the top in the nation.
“It’ll be a tough year to top. It’s thrilling to be a part of inspiring life long learning,” said Bunch. “It is so exciting to see all these kids back. I was almost in tears in the hall this morning, seeing all the little faces. You know, we still get the night before jitters.”
Willard and Bunch agreed some things are a given for any middle school’s start. One thing is nervous sixth graders and another is the confidence of the eighth grade students
“I was excited this year, which is my eleventh, as I was the first one,” Willard said. She said no two days are the same and technology is really driving educators to bring their A game to class every day.
New Flat Rock Elementary Principal Dana Draughn said she is marking more than 23 years in the profession with her third tour at the school. Her first outing was as a fourth grade teacher and the second one as an instructional specialist.
“I am just so excited to be here. I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I am as thrilled as the kids are to find out who their new teachers are,” said Draughn. “This is my first time serving as a principal. It was a natural extension for me. I see myself as an educator. I am a resource for students and teachers. I’m definitely a teacher at heart.”
Draughn stressed it’s critical teachers, students and parents are a team and “are on the same page” and said she feels the knowledge the school cares about what’s best for children contributed to the smooth start to the new school year.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4793 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.