Cathedral welcomes 123 new students

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Everyone wanted a new student, and in a school of only 570 before the storm, just about everybody got one.

The 123 new students at Cathedral School were most definitely the coolest kids in school Wednesday.

&uot;It’s gotten old with the old people,&uot; sixth-grader Madeline Beard said, while she and friends crowded around Metairie resident Kayla Worley at lunch.

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Worley and other evacuees at the school for the first time looked understandably overwhelmed and quiet.

&uot;Today, they seem to be fine,&uot; teacher Mike Durr said. &uot;I know they’ve got it inwardly, but they aren’t showing it outwardly.&uot;

Cathedral staff and students came back to school Tuesday to prepare for the new students. Evacuees were greeted with balloons and signs Wednesday morning.

&uot;They are fitting in really well,&uot; eighth-grader Katelee Laird said. &uot;It’s really tying everybody together. We’re not in our groups anymore.&uot;

Eighth-grader Will Biglane said the new students seemed very nice, but a little nervous.

&uot;But you get to know what their schools were like,&uot; he said. &uot;And we are helping them.&uot;

Cathedral waived tuition for evacuees and has been overwhelmed with admission requests, Principal Pat Sanguinetti said. Because of space and staff, no more students are being admitted. At least 15 names are already on a waiting list.

Students helped the staff arrange desks Tuesday. Now, every student has a desk of some sort. Rooms have more students in them, but aren’t overly crowded, teachers and students said.

&uot;The students are really excited about having new ones,&uot; teacher Linda Bailey said. &uot;But we are moving on, trying not to have an interruption. At the same time, we are trying to see where the new students are.&uot;

An evacuee teacher is volunteering her time at Cathedral to work with evacuee children to make sure they are up to speed with the classes.

&uot;I’m not changing anything at all (in the classroom plan),&uot; Durr said. &uot;We are going to pick up right where we left off and just move forward.&uot;

Sanguinetti said he thinks many of the new students will leave in the next few weeks.