Students happy it was ‘too cool for school’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2000

&uot;I&160;may be the most hated man in Concordia Parish today,&uot;&160;Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman joked Thursday. That is because, while all private and public schools in Adams County canceled classes Thursday for fear of bad weather, Peterman, the superintendent of Concordia Parish Schools, kept students in school.

But the winter storm many expected to arrive in the wee hours Thursday morning was slow moving, and some were predicting it would bypass Natchez entirely Thursday evening.

Most school administrators said they would decided early this morning whether to cancel classes today.

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But Sis. Marie Santry, S.N.D., principal of Holy Family Catholic School, decided early Thursday afternoon to close school again today. Santry said weather reports predicting ice accumulation helped make her decision to cancel a second day of classes.

Other principals said they regretted the lost day, but would rather &uot;be safe than sorry.&uot;

&uot;I have a strong feeling nothing’s going to happen,&uot; said Trinity Episcopal School Headmaster Dr. Michael Hannan Thursday afternoon. &uot;We’ll play it the same way we did today. But I think it’s better safe than sorry. I don’t regret (cancelling classes).&uot;

Dr. Scott Fleming, principal of Cathedral School, agreed. He made his decision to cancel Thursday classes after an early-morning check on the weather forecast and a call from Natchez-Adams Schools Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

&uot;We usually do what the public schools do,&uot; Fleming said Thursday afternoon.

Davis said the decision to cancel school was a tough one. He wanted to keep the schools open for at least half of Thursday.

&uot;I really agonized over (it) this morning,&uot; he said. &uot;But everything looked so bleak, we just called it off for the day.&uot;

The district had to make a decision before bus drivers began picking up their buses at 6 a.m., he said.

William Wade, assistant principal of Adams County Christian School, thinks it is too late to question whether his school should have closed. &uot;(The decision is) made so it would have to be the right one,&uot; he joked. &uot;Hope we don’t have to make it up.&uot;

Students around Natchez didn’t mind the bad weather scare.

&uot;I hope it snows (Thursday) night,&uot; said Renee Davis, of Natchez High School. &uot;If it ices overnight we don’t have school (Friday.)

Van Staggs and his friend Nick Carter, both ACCS students, enjoyed lunch at McDonalds Thursday. &uot;(It’s) better than being at school,&uot;&160;said 12-year-old Staggs.

Peterman said the forecasts he got from the National Weather Service Wednesday were very different from those given for Natchez.

The forecast for Concordia Parish had placed icy weather well north of Concordia Parish, he said Thursday.

Still, he watched the weather closely and kept in close contact with the sheriff’s office and other emergency officials before making the decision to keep schools open Thursday.

And although Peterman said parish schools would probably be open again today, he was still watching up-to-the-minute weather reports on the computer in his office Thursday to make sure.