Schools welcome students, deal with lazy summer mindsets

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 10, 2012

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Four-year-old pre-kindergarten teacher Lisa Falkenheiner talks to her student Elijah Bass as he and his classmates lie down for their nap Thursday morning during the first day of school at Trinity Episcopal Day School.

NATCHEZ — One Trinity Episcopal Day School second-grade teacher found an interesting way of dealing with the summer state of mind her students tend to bring to the first day of school.

Headmaster Les Hegwood said he was initially confused, but then pleasantly surprised when a teacher, Nancy Harveston, asked if she could have a funeral for her class.

“She told me they were going to have a funeral for all of her student’s ‘I can’ts,’” Hegwood said. “They wrote them all down, put them in a box, and they’re going to bury them and that ‘I can’t’ mentality.

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“Over the summer, we all tend to lapse into a blissful apathy, and we just have to snap out of that.”

Other than the burial and funeral services hosted at the school Thursday, Hegwood said Trinity’s first day of school went according to plan.

“Everything went wonderfully, and we all had a great time,” Hegwood said. “I’m personally looking forward to seeing our talented faculty and students soaring together.”

Hegwood said Trinity welcomed 260 students on Thursday, an overall decrease from last year’s enrollment numbers, but an increase from when he was hired in April.

“I’ve been looking at where we are since I’ve been a part of the school,” Hegwood said. “It all depends on how you look at it, but we’re still enrolling kids.”

Across town at Cathedral, enrollment numbers were the last thing on chief administrator Pat Sanguinetti’s mind.

“It’s hot,” Sanguinetti said about Cathedral’s first day on Tuesday. “Everything went perfect, but it’s too hot.”

Cathedral enrollment increased by 41 students this year, with 694 maxing out the school’s attendance, Sanguinetti said.

“We’re not taking anybody right now,” Sanguinetti said. “I do have a waiting list, and we’re going to be selective.

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Ava Parker holds the American flag as she and her kindergarten classmates recite the pledge and sing “God Bless America” as they start their first day of school at ACCS.

“If we look over the application, standardized test scores, permanent records and see they’re going to be an asset to this school, we’ll find a way to put them in.”

And other than the heat, assistant administrator Shannon Bland said the hardest part of Cathedral’s first day came from its younger students.

“It’s always a tough transition for the little ones when they’re leaving mom,” Bland said. “But then they start meeting new friends and having a great time.”

The halls were also crowded at Adams County Christian School Thursday, and headmaster David King said the school’s first day went smoothly.

“It’s strictly due to my good faculty, because when you have good people surrounding you, things go well,” King said. “I enjoyed interacting with the kids and the faculty (Thursday).”

King said ACCS’s enrollment was at 475 students, an increase of 50 students from last year.

“We’re very blessed, and I think the word is getting out that we have some good things coming our way,” King said. “Hopefully we’ll keep getting more students, because we have some big plans for enrollment in the future.”

But King said Thursday afternoon the day wasn’t over for him.

“My first day isn’t over until I coach that football game,” King said.

King is also the school’s head football coach. The Rebels played in a jamboree Thursday.