07/30/04 — Teacher, pupils and parents get acquainted at open house

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Teacher, pupils and parents get acquainted at open house

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 30, 2004 2:02 PM

Charles and Nikki Brown entertained their three children as they waited to meet a teacher Thursday night during open house at Grantham School.

Kareema, 13, will be a seventh-grader this year and says she is excited about being a cheerleader. Her brother, Isiah, 11, will be in sixth grade, and Amone, 6, enters second grade.

This will be the family's fifth year at the school, and no one seemed nervous.

"They know everybody, the teachers and the kids," Mrs. Brown said.

Her children said they are ready for school to resume on Tuesday. Isiah named reading as his favorite subject. Amone said favorite part is lunchtime.

Jaime Cox waited alone in her classroom for open house visitors to arrive. Many did not know she was there because Grantham has not had a full-time music teacher in several years.

Mrs. Cox said she will be teaching elementary music and eighth grade chorus, which nicely feeds into her husband Jason's music program at Southern Wayne High School.

"I'm so excited," she said. "This is the job I have always wanted."

She said she has always wanted to teach music and her choice of schools was Grantham, but the music program had been cut in recent years. The timing was right, though, with her being hired after recently completing her master's degree at East Carolina University.

Leaning against one of the brick buildings, Taylor Stilley stood waiting for his friends to arrive. The 13-year-old said he has attended Grantham all of his life and will be an eighth grader this year.

He said he has plans to try out for sports this year, but was mostly looking forward to reuniting with people he knew.

Navigating the hallways inside was Jay Kornegay, flanked by sons Jay, 13, an eighth grader, and nine-year-old Tyler, a fourth grader.

The boys have been students at the school since their mother, Terri, became a second-grade teacher there two years ago.

"They like it because they can take off to Mom's class after school," Kornegay said.

Tyler was actually a student in his mother's classroom when he was in second grade. "I couldn't get away with much," he said.

Mrs. Kornegay said she also tries to create a family atmosphere in her classroom. She even has "family meetings" with the students when the opportunity arises.

She said she was thrilled with the turnout for open house.

"Open house is always exciting," she said. "You get to see the new lives you get to work with and the precious ones that have gone on.

"This is a time for them to come in and get acclimated and see their teachers and their classmates."

All 31 public schools across the county held open houses this week, staggering them over Wednesday and Thursday nights.

More than 19,000 students are expected to return to classes on Tuesday.