First day jitters: Children back to school

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 5, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Whitney Houston gives her son Jakel Brown, 5, a hug before leaving him for his first day of school at West Primary School Thursday morning.

NATCHEZ — The first breakfast away from Mom or Dad left a couple of West Primary School first-timers dropping tears into their Cinnamon Toast Crunch Thursday.

“She starts (crying), and then he’ll start,” pre-K teacher Agnes Davis said.

For those children who never attended daycare, the first day of school was their first time to be away from their parents, Davis said.

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Natchez-Adams School District schools and Cathedral School kicked off the school year Thursday.

Pre-K student Mason Bouldin wiped his own tears in the West Primary cafeteria with a napkin, while classmate Cameron Allen patted his back and put his arm around his shoulder.

“Cameron’s been a little leader this morning,” Davis said.

The more experienced Pre-K students took the first day like a champion big boy or girl and fit right in to the groove as they wobbled breakfast trays at shoulder height to the miniature table and chairs.

Angele Blaney welcomes a student, Eric Harr, to the first day of school.

Pre-K teacher Sharon McMorris said she was excited to get back to school, but that summer felt very short-lived.

She planed Thursday to go over rules and regulations and get a jumpstart on the basics.

“We’ll start with the letter ‘A,’ and the sound it makes and then the number one,” McMorris said.

The students who started their second year at West Thursday had no trouble at all McMorris said.

“We’re not strangers to them,” she said.

Mother Ann Jones was still sunk in a mini chair next to her 3-year-old son, Timothy Wallace, as the clock pushed 9 a.m.

Jones said Timothy was excited about the first day of school and wearing a backpack until it came time for her to leave.

“He was all for school until we got here,” Jones said.

Although Timothy is her third child, Jones said, he was still the baby.

“He’s been a magnet on me for three years,” she said while trying to coax Timothy to stop squirming in his chair.

Davis said she had been looking forward to seeing her class Thursday.

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Laurie Wells comforts one of her new students, 5-year-old Deasia King, on the first day of school at West Primary.

“I know they’re anxious — they have on their new clothes and stuff,” Davis said. “We have to talk (in class) about what they did this summer.”

At Cathedral, Allie Stewart made a different kind of transition. Thursday was her first day of high school.

When school let out at 3 p.m., the one word she used to describe he day was “busy.”

“There’s more expected of you (in high school),” Stewart said.

Many class periods stuck to introductions, but Stewart said her Algebra 2 teacher threw the students into the semester by going over ACT questions.

“I’m glad we started on a Thursday,” Stewart said, thankful for the nearby weekend.

Cathedral Elementary Principal Shannon Bland said despite the heat, the first day went by without a hitch, and only two pre-schoolers shed tears.

“It seemed like everyone was ready,” Bland said.

While jitters were flying for some students, for others, like eighth grader Abby Brown, the newness of the first day of school in a new grade was less dramatic.

“It was cool and fun, I guess — normal,” Brown said.