Back to school includes mom this time

Published 12:33 am Monday, August 2, 2010

VIDALIA — When school starts next week, the Stanley children of Vidalia won’t be the only ones in the family heading back to school.

When The Dart found Scott Stanley, 9, and Brittany Stanley, 12, they were spending the final days of summer playing together under the supervision of their mother, Diana.

They’ve been to church camp, went camping, spent days swimming, wrestling in the playroom and riding their bikes. With the arrival of August, they’re counting down the days until that first school bell rings.

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And when they head back, Diana will also go back to school.

She’s attending Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez as a full-time student in the hopes of one day becoming a teacher.

She’s also literally heading back to the same school as Scott, because she’s currently a special education teacher’s assistant at Vidalia Upper Elementary.

“I decided to become a teacher’s assistant because it was getting harder to find a babysitter for Scott — he has Down’s (Syndrome),” Diana said.

“After doing that, being a teacher’s aide, I decided I wanted to be a teacher.”

Brittany will be going to a different school than where Diana is working this year, but Scott will be starting at Vidalia Upper this year.

Both will have to adjust to their new situations with — or without — their mother at their school, Diana said.

“(Brittany) will have to adjust that I’m not going to be there to come to if she needs some money or doesn’t feel well,” she said. “(Scott) will have to learn that, even though I am there, when he is at school he will have to be in school mode.”

Balancing working at a school with being a full-time student and a full-time mom can be challenging, but Diana said it’s not too tough.

“Sometimes the house gets a little messy, but I manage to keep things pretty straight,” she said.

“Sometimes my husband (Jason) tells me to keep my teaching voice at school.”

Brittany will be in the sixth grade, and Scott will be starting the third grade. Diana will be a sophomore.