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Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Parent liaison Augustine McCaleb hugs third-grader Jakeria Anderson, 9, as students leave West Elementary School on the last day of school Monday.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Parent liaison Augustine McCaleb hugs third-grader Jakeria Anderson, 9, as students leave West Elementary School on the last day of school Monday.

Archived Story

Natchez students celebrate end of school, start of summer

Published 12:01am Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NATCHEZ — Priscilla Grady fought back tears Monday afternoon as she waved goodbye.

“I couldn’t even walk them all the way on to the bus because I knew I’d start crying like a baby,” Grady said, laughing as she bade farewell to the second-grade students she’s grown attached to in the last nine months at West Elementary School.

“I thought I had already done all my crying in the last month, but just seeing them leave is making me want to cry again.”

Monday marked the last day for students in the Natchez-Adams School District or the first official day of summer, depending on whom you asked — teachers or students.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — McCaleb waves goodbye to students as they leave on the bus.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — McCaleb waves goodbye to students as they leave on the bus.

Fifth-grade student Demeya Peavy took her place at the front of the dismissal line in her class, eager to begin her summer vacation and another important annual celebration.

“Its my birthday (today), so it’s extra special,” Peavy said. “My granddaddy is coming, and we’re going to go to McComb, but I don’t know for what yet. It’s a surprise.”

Second-grade student Ashantileha Fells said she was sad to leave her classmates for the summer but was excited that she could officially call herself a third grader.

“I’m not in the second grade anymore,” Fells said. “I’m going to miss our science projects the most.

“We got to play with rats and do experiments.”

The rats, Hecuba and Noeli, quickly became the unofficial class mascots this year, Fells said.

“They were our pets, but they didn’t have any diseases or anything,” Fells said. “We let them crawl all over us sometimes.”

Fifth-grade student Deontray Coach said he wasn’t going to miss having to get up early every day to come to school this summer.

“I’m going to miss my friends most, but that’s about it,” Coach said. “I’m probably going to go to Jackson and visit my family.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Fifth-grader Tia McMorris, 11,  shares a laugh with teacher Denise Mason before leaving for summer vacation.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Fifth-grader Tia McMorris, 11, shares a laugh with teacher Denise Mason before leaving for summer vacation.

“Not having to come to school is the best part of the summer.”

Not all the students, however, were glad to leave school. Second-grader Jordan Jackson stood waiting on his bus with his art supplies overflowing from both of his hands.

“I’m going to miss drawing in class with my teacher,” Jackson said. “Summer is good because I get to spend time with my family, but I’m going to miss school.”

But all the joy wasn’t reserved for the students’ start to their summer, as teachers gave themselves a round of applause after the last bus pulled off the school’s parking lot.

“There goes another year,” Grady said. “It’s hard to see them go after you’ve gotten close to them for nine months, but we’ll get the next group soon.

“Then it all starts over again.”